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A Rare Cause of Rectovaginal Fistula in Early Infancy: It is in the Genes!

Swaminathan A, Malathi Sathiyasekaran, Padankatti S, Padankatti RB, Arulprakash S, Raj R

Published Sep 2020, in the Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons


Acquired Rectovaginal Fistula (RVF) is rare in infants. Interleukin10/ Interleukin 10 receptor deficiencies are monogenic disorders presenting as aggressive forms of infantile onset inflammatory bowel disease with perianal abscess and fistula. Genetic studies assist in confirming the diagnosis. We present a two month old infant with rectovaginal fistula, severe colitis, failure to thrive and recurrent infections in whom colonoscopy revealed irregular colonic ulcers, and genetic studies confirmed an IL10RB mutation. Hematopoietic Stem cell transplantation is the definitive therapy for this disorder which the child underwent. We report this infant with an acquired RVF with extraintestinal features due to IL10RB mutation to highlight the importance of thinking beyond the local anatomy and looking into the genetic domain. Keywords: Rectovaginal Fistula, Infantile Onset IBD, Monogenic IBD, IL10/ IL10R, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant


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