Regional enteritis, a granulomatous inflammatory disease of the bowel and its adnexae, most frequently affects the distal small intestine but may involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Isolated involvement of the duodenum is one of the least frequently encountered manifestations of this protean disease.
The clinical course of the patient with regional enteritis may vary widely, being determined by the localization in the intestinal tract, the extent of involvement, the activity of the inflammatory process, and by the presence of enteric or extra-enteric complications. The more common symptoms of obscure abdominal pain, various types of diarrhea, the "appendicitis syndrome," cryptic gastrointestinal bleeding, and partial or complete small bowel obstruction suggest regional enteritis to most physicians. Not so easily recognized are the less frequently encountered manifestations such as fever of undetermined origin, nutritional deficits secondary to malabsorption, disturbances of endocrine function and of growth-development, anemia of either hypochromic microcytic or