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Author: Brian Wu, MD candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA. DermNet New Zealand Editor in Chief: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. December 2016.
Cronkhite–Canada syndrome is a rare, sporadic, non-inherited disorder characterised by gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms.
It has a number of other names, including Canada–Cronkhite syndrome, Cronkhite–Canada polyposis, allergic granulomatous angiitis of Cronkhite–Canada, gastrointestinal multiple polyposis syndrome, and gastrointestinal polyposis and ectodermal changes.
Cronkhite–Canada syndrome was first described by Leonard Cronkhite and Wilma Canada in 1955.
Cronkhite–Canada syndrome is extremely rare:
The exact cause of Cronkhite–Canada syndrome is unknown: some researchers have attributed it to immune dysfunction, although in some studies, it has been linked to arsenic poisoning.
Gastrointestinal problems in Cronkhite–Canada syndrome include:
The ectodermal changes in Cronkhite–Canada syndrome are thought to be due to malabsorption and malnutrition; these include:
Other disorders found in Cronkhite–Canada syndrome include:
The diagnosis of Cronkhie-Canada syndrome can be reached after a variety of tests are performed. These tests include:
Because there is no cure for Cronkhite–Canada syndrome, treatment is symptomatic. Treatment focusses on hydration, restoration of nutrients and electrolytes, and regularisation of bowel movements. Pain management may also be required. Regular colonoscopy to remove polyps and identify colon cancer should be undertaken.
Treatments of bowel symptoms may include:
The outlook for Cronkhite–Canada syndrome is poor, with mortality rates in the first 5 years after diagnosis of around 50%, even with treatment. This is usually due to colon cancer or portal vein thrombosis.
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