rss
BMJ Case Reports 2014; doi:10.1136/bcr-2014-205002
  • CASE REPORT

Acute onset and rapid progression of multiple organ failure in a young adult with undiagnosed disseminated colonic adenocarcinoma

  1. Ulf Gøttrup Pedersen2
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Intensive Care, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daria Frestad, daria.frestad{at}gmail.com
  • Accepted 8 September 2014
  • Published 24 September 2014

Summary

Colourectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer worldwide. While rates for CRC in adults age 50 and older have been declining, incidence rates in young adults, a population routinely not screened, has been increasing. We report a rare case of high-grade CRC in a previously healthy 27-year-old man, presented to us with symptoms of increasing abdominal pain and distension. Extensive diagnostic investigation revealed hepatomegaly with multiple processes, signs of vasculitis, extensive liver necrosis, enlarged retroperitoneal and mesenteric lymph nodes, splenomegaly, ascites and multiple vein thrombosis. The patient passed away shortly after admission due to treatment-resistant tumour lysis syndrome and multiple organ failure. Biopsy results revealed disseminated adenocarcinoma of the colon, with metastases to lymph nodes, liver, lungs and pleura. CRC in younger patients tend to present at a later stage and appears to be more aggressive, with a poorer pathological differentiation.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article