Cronkhite-Canada syndrome associated with rib fractures: a case report.BMC Gastroenterol. 2010 Oct 18; 10:121.BG
Cronkhite-Canada syndrome (CCS) is a rare multiple gastrointestinal polyposis. Up till now, many complications of CCS have been reported in the literature, but rib fracture is not included.
We report a case of a 58-year-old man who was admitted to our hospital with a 6-month history of frequent diarrhea, intermittent hematochezia and a weight loss of 13 kg. On admission, physical examination revealed alopecia of the scalp, hyperpigmentation of the hands and soles, and dystrophy of the fingernails. Laboratory data revealed hypocalcaemia and hypoproteinemia. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, video capsule endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed various sizes of generalized gastrointestinal polyps. Histological examination of the biopsy specimens obtained from the stomach and the colon showed adenomatous polyp and inflammatory polyp respectively. Thus, a diagnosis of CCS was made. After treatment with corticosteroids for 24 days and nutritional support for two months, his clinical condition improved. Two months later, he was admitted to our hospital for the second time with frequent diarrhea and weight loss. The chest radiography revealed fractures of the left sixth and seventh ribs. Examinations, including emission computed tomography, bone densitometry test, and other serum parameters, were performed, but could not identify the definite etiology of the rib fractures. One month later, the patient suffered from aggravating multiple rib fractures due to the ineffective treatment, persistent hypocalcaemia and malnutrition.
This is the first case of a CCS patient with multiple rib fractures. Although the association between CCS and multiple rib fractures in this case remains uncertain, we presume that persistent hypocalcaemia and malnutrition contribute to this situation, or at least aggravate this rare complication. Besides, since prolonged corticosteroid therapy will result in an increased risk of osteoporotic fracture, CCS patients who accept corticosteroid therapy could be potential victims of rib fracture.