Unusual manifestations of a common gastrointestinal disorder


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We present an instructive case of a 13-year old male who presented with bilateral scrotal redness, swelling and tenderness, but with a normal testicular exam. His scrotal swelling persisted despite treatment with intravenous antibiotics, and on further history he reported 2 years of intermittent upper lip swelling. After a referral to a dermatologist, a lip biopsy showed granulomatous changes and he was referred to the gastroenterology department. A gastroscopy and colonoscopy was performed and histology confirmed non-caseating granulomas consistent with Crohn's disease (CD). Eighteen months after the diagnosis of CD he developed perianal disease with a fistula and distal anal stricture. He was successfully treated with insertion of a seton and escalation of therapy to azathioprine and infliximab. CD is a phenotypically diverse chronic inflammatory condition with an increasing incidence in Australia and other Western countries. Non-typical presentations, such as perianal manifestations or orofacial granulomatosis, can be the only presenting symptom in CD, and this highlights the importance for a high degree of clinical suspicion. Genital involvement is rare, but reported.