A likely diagnosis of Crohn's disease in a 95-year-old woman
- Correspondence to Dr Kishan R Parmar,
Crohn's disease (CD) has a bimodal distribution in incidence, with a second peak in the elderly. However, its diagnosis in the elderly is difficult due to a wider range of more common differential diagnoses such as diverticulitis, ischaemic colitis and colorectal cancer. We report a likely case of CD in a 95-year-old woman. She presented with diarrhoea and rectal bleeding and was found to have multiple pleomorphic ulcers with a patchy cobblestone mucosa on sigmoidoscopy. Histopathology demonstrated focal ulceration, altered crypt architecture and adjacent neutrophil polymorph infiltration with no granolomata or features of malignancy. The patient passed away after steroid treatment was started. This case is a reminder that CD can present in the elderly and highlights the challenging diagnosis and high mortality of CD-related hospitalisation in the elderly. When considering management, attention should be given to comorbid disease, age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and patients social circumstances.