Case report of pneumatosis intestinalis secondary to sunitinib treatment for refractory gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
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Pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) occurs when inter-luminal air enters the bowel wall of the gastrointestinal tract via a mucosal defect. The condition is caused by numerous disease states, direct trauma, and various drugs. When PI is secondary to drug therapy, discontinuation of the offending agent results in the resolution of PI. We report on the case of a 73-year-old male with a history of refractory gastrointestinal stromal tumor experiencing PI while on sunitinib treatment. PI was noted via computed tomography (CT) scans 68 days after starting sunitinib therapy and showed near complete resolution on a follow up CT performed one month after discontinuing sunitinib. Given that a CT scan performed five months prior to the initiation of sunitinib did not show PI, lack of abdominal symptoms in our patient, and resolution of PI after discontinuing sunitinib, the cause of PI in our patient was likely due to sunitinib treatment.
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