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Tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) blocking drugs are used in the treatment of a number of inflammatory conditions. It is likely that the use of these drugs will increase. There have been reports of serious infections with these drugs.1–3 Doctors need to be aware of the potential for sepsis, especially as they are increasingly likely to encounter patients on anti-TNF drugs. We present two cases of life threatening intra-abdominal sepsis in patients with rheumatological conditions receiving anti-TNF drugs.
A 60 year old male with psoriatic arthritis resistant to treatment had benefited from etanercept for six months. In rheumatology outpatients he complained of a two week history of abdominal pain. On examination he was tender in the left upper quadrant with a palpable mass. A contrast enhanced computed …
Conflict of interest: None declared.