The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2023 , Vol 65 , Num 4
Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis mimicking free intraabdominal air following chemotherapy for relapsed acute myeloblastic leukemia in a transplanted neutropenic child: a case report
Utku Aygüneş 1 ,Barbaros Şahin Karagün 1 ,İlgen Şaşmaz 1 ,Kamuran Tutuş 2 ,Önder Özden 2 ,Bülent Antmen 1
1 Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplantation, Acibadem University Faculty of Medicine, Adana Hospital, Adana
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Adana, Türkiye
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2023.116 Background. Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (PI) is a rare but important condition in which widespread air sacs are found in the submucosa, and subserosa of the bowel wall. Although it has several etiologies, children receiving chemotherapy are at risk for PI. Preferred imaging tools for the diagnosis are abdominal direct radiography and computed tomography. In patients with PI, rupture of intramural air sacs is the source of benign pneumoperitoneum, causing free air without true intestinal perforation. Intestinal perforation or obstruction are indications for surgical intervention.

Case. Here, we present a 4-year-old patient diagnosed with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from a matched sibling donor (MSD) and developed PI after HSCT. The patient was consulted to the pediatric surgery department, and her oral feeding was stopped. Broad spectrum antibiotics (teicoplanin, metronidazol and vancomycin) were initiated. Her fever increased during the 24-hour monitoring, there was no stool passage, CRP (>25 mg/dL, normal value <1 mg/dL) and abdominal distension increased and there was prolonged neutropenia and radiologic investigations could not rule out intestinal perforation, so the patient underwent exploratory laparotomy. No intestinal perforation was found. There was no sign in the intestinal wall and numerous gas-filled cysts of various sizes.

Conclusions. PI is an uncommon complication, and direct radiography/computed tomography scans are very helpful in making the diagnosis in suspicious cases. PI, should be kept in mind, especially in transplanted or relapsed leukemia patients receiving intensive chemotherapy. Keywords : leukemia, pneumatosis intestinalis, surgery, transplant

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