Actinomycosis of the colon with invasion of the abdominal wall: An uncommon presentation of a colonic tumour

Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthetics and Intensive Care, Department of Pathology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 12/2010; 1(1):9-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2010.07.002
Source: PubMed


Actinomycosis is an uncommon chronic suppurative infectious disease that is caused by Actinomycetes organisms, which are gram-positive, microaerophilic, anaerobic bacteria. The most common type causing disease in humans is Actinomyces israelii. This organism is a commensal of the human mouth and is seldom pathogenic. When it does cause disease, however, three main clinical types of involvement are recognized including cervico-facial, thoracic and abdominal actinomycosis.Herein, we present the case of a 79-year-old male patient who underwent surgical exploration following presentation with abdominal pain and an abdominal mass, initially thought to be a malignancy. Pathologic examination confirmed this as a case of abdominal actinomycosis. This diagnosis should always be included in the differential diagnosis of patients who present with an infiltrative abdominal mass.

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Available from: Michael E C Mcfarlane, May 16, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Actinomycosis is a rare subacute or chronic, endogenous infection mainly by Actinomyces species, showing low virulence through fimbriae and biofilms. Cervicofacial, thoracic, abdominal, pelvic and sometimes cerebral, laryngeal, urinary and other regions can be affected. Actinomycosis mimics other diseases, often malignancy. Disease risk in immunocompromised subjects needs clarification. Diagnosis is often delayed and 'sulfur granules' are helpful but nonspecific. Culture requires immediate specimen transport and prolonged anaerobic incubation. Imaging, histology, cytology, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and molecular methods improve the diagnosis. Actinomycetes are β-lactam susceptible, occasionally resistant. Treatment includes surgery and/or long-term parenteral then oral antibiotics, but some 1-4-week regimens or oral therapy alone were curative. For prophylaxis, oral hygiene and regular intrauterine device replacement are important.
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