Crohn's disease of the duodenum is uncommon, occurring in approximately 2% of patients with Crohn's disease. Approximately 165 cases have been reported in small series in the literature. Our report includes 36 patients, most of whom had symptoms of duodenal disease coincident with or after obvious disease elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract, although occasionally duodenal disease developed first and rarely disease was confined to the duodenum. Upper abdominal pain and symptoms of gastroduodenal obstruction are the commonest patterns of presentation. Significant weight loss is common, and occasionally major upper gastrointestinal bleeding occurs. The commonest pattern of involvement was contiguous disease of the proximal duodenum and distal stomach. Endoscopically, diffuse granularity, nodularity, and ulceration are seen accompanied by lack of distensibility of the involved area. Granulomas are rarely found in endoscopic biopsies. A bypass procedure was carried out on 18 patients, 15 of whom continue to be free of symptoms with an average follow-up of 6-6 years. When symptoms of obstruction dictate, operative bypass is accompanied by favourable long-term results in the large majority of patients.
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