Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-55

Anogenital Crohn's disease with vitiligo

Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication13-May-2014

Correspondence Address:
Hita H. Mehta
Department of Dermatology, Room No. 115, New OPD Building, Government Medical College, Sir T Hospital Campus,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.132432

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Cutaneous Crohn's or anogenital granulomatosis is a rare disorder, which presents commonly as swelling and erosions on anogenital area and associated with features of intestinal Crohn's disease. We report a case of 23-year-old female who presented with vitiligo patches on back and legs for 1-year, painful edema and ulcers on anogenital area and oral cavity for 9 months and diarrhea with bleeding per annum for 1 month. Features on ultrasonography, multislice computed tomography scan, colonoscopy, and biopsy from nodule on anal wall were suggestive of granulomatous Crohn's disease. Thus, we present the case due to its rarity.

Keywords: Anal erosions, cutaneous Crohn′s, vitiligo, vulval edema

How to cite this article:
Maheshwari GR, Mehta HH, Jhamwar MM. Anogenital Crohn's disease with vitiligo. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2014;35:53-5

How to cite this URL:
Maheshwari GR, Mehta HH, Jhamwar MM. Anogenital Crohn's disease with vitiligo. Indian J Sex Transm Dis [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jul 14];35:53-5. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Cutaneous Crohn's was first described by Parks et al., in 1965, [1] refers to extra intestinal mucocutaneous manifestations of Crohn's disease in which there are noncaeseating, granulomatous mucocutaneous lesions preceding or manifesting after systemic manifestations of intestinal Crohn's disease. The most common findings are edema and ulceration of anogenital area and oral cavity. Other dermatological conditions found to be associated with Crohn's disease include pyoderma gangrenosum, erythema nodosum, erythema multiforme, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, polyarteritis nodosa and vitiligo. [2],[3],[4] Here, we report a case of anogenital Crohn's and its rare association with vitiligo.

   Case report Top

The case we present here is about a 23-year-old female, presented with vitiligo patch on legs and back for 1 year and vulval swelling with anogenital and oral erosions for 9 months [Figure 1]. Examination of vulva showed erythema and edema along with whitish, foul smelling discharge. There were multiple, painful, nonhealing erosions seen on anogenital area and oral cavity [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. She also had on- and off-history of loose stools for last 1 month. Investigations on admission had shown low hemoglobin 10 gm%, total count of 7100/cumm, differential count of N: 58, L: 34, M: 4, E: 4, B: 0, platelet count 4.89l acs/cumm. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 40 mm in 1 st h, blood urea 10 mg/dL, serum creatinine 1 mg/dL, random blood sugar 80 mg/dL. Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase 10 U/L, serum glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase 54 U/L, serum bilirubin 0.8 mg/dl, prothrombin time 14 s, activated partial thromboplastin time 34 s, total protein 5.3 g, albumin: Globulin 2.9:2.4. Urine routine microscopy was normal. HIV, rapid plasma reagin, HBsAg, hepatitis C virus were negative. KOH smear was taken from vaginal discharge, which was negative and report of Gram-stain is not available. X-ray chest and abdomen was without any abnormality. Ultrasonography (USG) of patient showed 17 cm bowel segment with 15 mm thickened wall and narrowing of the lumen with the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. Multislice computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen with pelvis showed mild circumferential wall thickening with stratification and increased enhancement. Findings were in favor of Crohn's with early sacroillitis. Colonoscopy showed dilated bowel segment with edema, erythema, telangiectasia, and few ulcers [Figure 4]. Biopsy from anal wall showed acute as well as chronic inflammation with noncaseating granulomas suggestive of Crohn's disease [Figure 5]. Patient was treated with tablet mesalamine (800 mg) eight hourly and capsule doxycycline (100 mg) and neomycin cream on ulcers. She went to a higher center for further surgical management and died of septicemia.
Figure 1: Clinical photograph of vitiligo patches on legs

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Figure 2: Clinical photograph of patient showing vulval edema

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Figure 3: Clinical photograph showing anal erosions

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Figure 4: Colonoscopy showing erosions in the terminal ileum

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Figure 5: Histopathological picture

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   Discussion Top

Crohn's disease, first described by Sir Crohn et al. in 1932, [2] is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. [5] It affects 1 in 400,000-600,000 people globally with male: Female ratio of 1:1.2. The age of onset of cutaneous Crohn's is 10-69 years. [6] In our case, the female patient was in her 20's with features of Crohn's disease. The basic underlying etiology of Crohn's is currently unknown, though various theories suggest an interaction between environmental, immunological and bacteriological factors in genetically susceptible individuals (NOD2 gene). [2],[7] The lesions in cutaneous Crohn's can be classified as: (1) specific lesions of cutaneous Crohn's disease, (2) reactive dermatoses, (3) cutaneous manifestations secondary to malabsorption, and (4) cutaneous manifestations secondary to treatment. [6] Cutaneous Crohn's disease can also be divided clinically into two forms: Genital (56%) and extra genital (44%). Approximately, two-third of children and half of adults with Crohn's disease present with genital involvement. [3] Anogenital signs and symptoms (in approximately 25% in illeal and 80% in colonic involvement) may appear before the other systemic manifestations and may be the first sign in the diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Cutaneous manifestations associated with Crohn's disease are erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, polyarteritis nodosa, and vitiligo. [3],[8],[9] In our case, vitiligo preceded the anogenital lesions. Association of Crohn's disease and vitiligo has been seen in other studies also. [9],[10],[11] In the study by Tanusin et al. [9] incidence of vitiligo with Crohn's disease was observed in 10% of cases. McPoland and Moss have reported a case of Crohn's disease and vitiligo. [10] In both studies, vitiligo was concomitantly associated. The differentials of chronic vulval edema with erosions are granulomatous vulvitis, sarcoidosis, and chronic lymphedema due to obstruction, tuberculosis, subcutaneous mycoses, hidradenitis suppurativa and Langerhans cell histiocytosis. [11] Clinically, presence of chronic erosions, swelling, and erythematous discoloration of genitals with gastrointestinal symptoms and on investigation typical findings in USG, CT scan and colonoscopy favors diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Absence of lymphadenopathy, vegetating growth, scarring, and negative X-ray findings excludes other differential conditions. Although histological picture of cutaneous Crohn's may be indistinguishable from other granulomatous diseases, but histopathology of skin along with colonoscopy findings together leads to diagnosis of Crohn's disease. The treatment of anogenital Crohn's is usually palliative and symptomatic. Many treatment modalities are available as systemic steroids, sulfasalazine, mesalamine (active moiety of sulfasalazine), oral metronidazole, hyperbaric oxygen, and antitumor necrosis factor-α antibody (infliximab). [2],[3],[6] Surgery is required if intestinal involvement is severe. Our patient was treated symptomatically with tablet mesalamine (800 mg) eight hourly, capsule doxycycline (100 mg) and topically neomycin cream and was referred to higher center for operative procedures.

   References Top

1.Parks AG, Morson BC, Pegum JS. Crohn's disease with cutaneous involvement. Proc R Soc Med 1965;58:241-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.2. Criton S. Metastatic Crohn's disease. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1998;64:80-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.González-Guerra E, Angulo J, Vargas-Machuca I, Fariña Mdel C, Martín L, Requena L. Cutaneous Crohn's disease causing deformity of the penis and scrotum. Acta Derm Venereol2006;86:179-80.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Panackel C, John J, Krishnadas D, Vinayakumar KR. Metastatic Crohn's disease of external genitalia. Indian J Dermatol 2008;53:146-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.Sarna J, Sharma A, Marfatia YS. Bilateral non healing ulcers in groin: An interesting case of metastatic Crohn's disease. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2008;29:98-100.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Mountain JC. Cutaneous ulceration in Crohn's disease.Gut 1970;11:18-26.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Burgdorf W. Cutaneous manifestations of Crohn's disease. J Am Acad Dermatol 1981;5:689-95.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Pashankar D, Prendiville J, Israel DM. Vitiligo and Crohn's disease in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999;28:227-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Ploysangam T, Heubi JE, Eisen D, Balistreri WF, Lucky AW. Cutaneous Crohn's disease in children. J Am Acad Dermatol 1997;36:697-704.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.McPoland PR, Moss RL. Cutaneous Crohn's disease and progressive vitiligo. J Am Acad Dermatol 1988;19:421-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Lebwohl M, Fleischmajer R, Janowitz H, Present D, Prioleau PG. Metastatic Crohn's disease. J Am Acad Dermatol 1984;10:33-8.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


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