Lupus enteritis is a rare manifestation seen in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Its diagnosis can be challenging as symptoms frequently overlap many gastrointestinal disorders, imaging findings are not specific, and endoscopic features are infrequently diagnostic. Moreover, enteritis can occur in isolation without other systemic manifestations or even elevated inflammatory markers (1). Here is presented the case of a 22-year-old female with known SLE manifested by lupus nephritis complicated by end-stage renal disease who presented with abdominal pain. She had leukocytosis with thickened bowel loops, ascites, “target sign”, “comb sign” and patent abdominal vessels on CT imaging. The differential diagnoses considered ranged from infectious gastroenteritis to systemic vasculitis. Her infectious workup was negative while inflammatory markers and autoimmune workup did not support active lupus flare. Having ruled out alternative etiologies, steroid dosing was increased in consultation with rheumatology. Subsequently, her abdominal pain responded supporting a diagnosis of lupus enteritis. The case was perplexing in light of her non-specific presenting symptoms and the absence of laboratory evidence of active lupus flare which delayed the diagnosis. This case illustrates how the diagnosis of lupus enteritis continues to remain a challenge.
Halilu, Fatima; Qureshi, Anum; and Nash, Brenton
"Lupus Enteritis in the Absence of a Lupus Flare. A Case Report and Review of Literature,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 12:
6, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol12/iss6/11