Crohn’s disease and extra intestinal granulomatous lesions.

G. Tomasello 1,2, M. Scaglione 1, M. Mazzola 1, A. Gerges Geaga 1,3, A. Jurjus 3, C. Gagliardo 2, E. Sinagra 2, P. Damiani 2, F. Carini 1,  A. Leone 1

1 Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Histology and Human Anatomy, (BIONEC), School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

2 Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology (IEMEST), Palermo, Italy

3 Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon


Crohn’s disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disease with a multifactorial etiology. Clinical features include mucosal erosion, diarrhea, weight loss and other complications such as formation of granuloma. In CD, granuloma is a non-neoplastic epithelioid lesion, formed by a compact aggregate of histiocytes with the absence of a central necrosis, however, the correlation among CD and the formation of granulomas is unknown. Many cases of granulomas in the extracellular site, related to CD, have been reported in the literature. These granulomas, at times, represented the only visible manifestation of the pathology. Extra intestinal granulomas have been found on ovaries, lungs, male genitalia, female genitalia, orofacial regions and skin. From the data in the literature it could be hypothesized that there is a cross-reaction of the immune system with similar antigenic epitopes belonging to different sites. This hypothesis, if checked, can place CD not only among inflammatory bowel disease but also among inflammatory diseases with systemic involvement.

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