Recurrent perineal Crohn’s disease can be an extremely debilitating complication that may be difficult to treat. We report a patient with progressively worsening perineal and biopsy-proven cutaneous Crohn’s disease that had been refractory to surgery and medical treatment (sulfasalazine, steroids, 6-mercaptopurine, metronidazole, antibiotics). As the lesions were reminiscent of problem wounds occurring in other situations, hyperbaric oxygen treatment was instituted while the patient was continued on metronidazole. Response was dramatic with almost immediate relief of symptoms and regression within 2.5 mo of wounds that had previously defied therapy for 8 yr. Clinical remission has not been sustained as four subsequent courses of hyperbaric oxygen have been given over a period of 11 mo. However, the patient has been essentially asymptomatic since her initial course and the extent of her cutaneous disease has been minimal compared with that before hyperbaric oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is costly and should not be routinely used in every patient with perineal Crohn’s disease. However, this case report may herald an advance in the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complication and ultimately, its therapy.
Brady, Cooley, Davis (1989). Healing of severe perineal and cutaneous Crohn’s disease with hyperbaric oxygen. Gastroenterology, 1989 Sep;97(3):756-60. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2753335