Bowel-Bypass Syndrome Without Bowel Bypass: Bowel-Associated Dermatosis-Arthritis Syndrome
A recurrent, episodic illness that occurs in as many as 20% of patients who undergo ileojejunal bypass surgery for morbid obesity has been well characterized and includes inflammatory cutaneous lesions with a histologic appearance like that of neutrophilic vasculitis, a nondeforming polyarthritis, and other systemic manifestations. Current concepts of pathogenesis center on overgrowth of bacterial flora in the bypassed bowel segment with subsequent development of a circulating immune complex disease. We report, for the first time to our knowledge, an identical clinicopathologic syndrome in four patients who have not had jejunoileal bypass surgery. Each patient, however, had other gastrointestinal disease that we believe predisposed to this syndrome, possibly via circulating immune complexes with bowel-associated antigens. We propose the expanded term, bowel-associated dermatosis-arthritis syndrome, to incorporate these new cases. We believe that this is not a rare syndrome and that it is easily distinguishable from other types of cutaneous necrotizing vasculitis.