Noninfectious gastrointestinal (GI) vasculopathic disorders are rare and are often overlooked in histopathologic examination or when forming differential diagnoses due to their rarity. However, involvement of the GI tract may lead to serious complications, including ischemia and perforation. Since awareness of the types of vasculopathy that may involve the GI tract is central to arriving at a correct diagnosis, we reviewed our institutional experience with GI tract vasculopathy in order to enhance diagnostic accuracy of these rare lesions. We report the clinical and histologic features of 16 cases (excluding 16 cases of immunoglobulin A vasculitis) diagnosed over a 20-year period. Of the 16 patients, 14 presented with symptoms related to the GI vasculopathy (including 2 presenting with a mass on endoscopic examination). The remaining 2 patients presented with incarcerated hernia and invasive adenocarcinoma. The vasculopathy was not associated with systemic disease and appeared limited to the GI tract in 8 patients. Eight had associated systemic disease, but only 6 had a prior diagnosis. The underlying diagnoses in these 6 patients included systemic lupus erythematosus (1), dermatomyositis (2), rheumatoid arthritis (1), eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (1), and Crohn disease (1). One patient with granulomatous polyangiitis and 1 patient with systemic lupus erythematosus initially presented with GI symptoms. The 8 cases of isolated GI tract vasculopathy consisted of enterocolic lymphocytic phlebitis (4), idiopathic myointimal hyperplasia of the sigmoid colon (1), idiopathic myointimal hyperplasia of the ileum (1), granulomatous vasculitis (1), and polyarteritis nodosa-like arteritis (1). Isolated GI tract vasculopathy is rare, but appears to be almost as common as that associated with systemic disease. The chief primary vasculopathies are enterocolic lymphocytic colitis and idiopathic myointimal hyperplasia. Although the latter occurs predominantly in the left colon, rare examples occur in the small bowel and likely represent a complex, more protean disorder.
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