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Iatreia

Print version ISSN 0121-0793

Abstract

MONTOYA-GONZALEZ, Juliana et al. Intestinal obstruction due to Vasconcellea seeds: Report of three cases and literature review. Iatreia [online]. 2015, vol.28, n.3, pp.318-324. ISSN 0121-0793.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17533/udea.iatreia.v28n3a10.

Vasconcellea spp., is a species of Andean papaya commonly cultivated in rural communities close to Medellín, Colombia. Due to the pleasant and sweet flavor of its fruits, children frequently ingest its seeds accidentally. After ingestion, the seeds are engaged in the colonic lumen and block the exit of stools, causing pain and bloating, and promoting bacterial translocation. Diagnosis is based on clinical history and rectal examination. Treatment depends on the degree of local and systemic involvement and includes disimpaction of rectal contents under general anesthesia and colonic washes with 0.9% saline solution. In severe cases derivative colostomy has been required. In the literature there are no reports of intestinal obstruction due to Vasconcellea seeds, possibly because it has been mistaken for seeds of the genus Carica. In this article, three cases treated at pediatric services in Medellín, Colombia, in 2012 and 2013 are described. We note that this is a rarely suspected disease, leading to late diagnosis and potential catastrophic consequences. It is important to educate people to prevent the ingestion of the seeds.

Keywords : Abdominal Pain; Intestinal Obstruction; Papaya; Seeds.

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