A caustic ingestion consequence mistaken for gastric cancer: A case report

Etienne El-Helou, Mersad Alimoradi, Hassan Sabra, Jessica Naccour, Marwan M.Haddad, Henri Bitar

Accepted 3 September 2020


This report is a case of a suicide attempt by bleach ingestion. mistaken for gastric cancer after oral contrast studies and esophagogastroduodenoscopy. We report this case to encourage physicians to take this etiology into consideration as part of differential diagnosis especially in front of a secretive patient.

Presentation of case
We report a case of a 38-year-old lady admitted for an acute onset of symptoms leading to a diagnosis of antral stenosis. Further workup which included endoscopic and surgical biopsies failed to reveal an underlying malignancy. After 24 days of inconclusive inpatient investigations, and due to failure of conservative treatment, distal gastrectomy was performed. Final pathology also revealed an absence of any signs of malignancy, and reported only inflammatory changes. One month after discharge, the patient confessed that she had attempted suicide by ingestion of corrosive agents before the symptoms started and wanted to keep the incident as a secret.

Gastric stenosis is seldom encountered in adult patients, however, it can occasionally result secondary to gastric ulcer disease, malignancies, foreign body ingestion, certain drugs or chemicals, or after endoscopic or surgical interventions. These etiologies do not usually cause acute gastric obstruction, and usually follow a more indolent course. Identification of an underlying etiology is mandatory to determine the proper medical or surgical treatment to relieve the obstructive symptoms.

We report this bizarre case to encourage physicians to keep this etiology in mind in otherwise unexplained gastric stenosis.

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