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Mr Hashmi and his colleagues review the hazards of swallowed or inhaled partial dentures (February 2004 JRSM1). Here we report such an episode with possibly beneficial consequences.
The patient was seen after two weeks of abdominal pain, distension, nausea and vomiting, and constipation. He had lost 4 kg over the past two months. There was a history of coeliac disease. Barium follow-through showed gross dilatation of the stomach, duodenum and proximal jejunum, and a C-shaped foreign body was noted in a site consistent with the mid-jejunum (Figure 1). At mini-laparotomy the stricture was excised with end-to-end anastomosis. When opened, it proved to contain part of a denture. Nevertheless, the specimen was sent for histopathological examination. To our surprise, the findings included not only a broad area of severe dysplasia but also, at the stricture, a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of the small bowel. How long would this complication of coeliac disease have gone undetected without the intervention of the dentures?
We thank Mr Peter McDonald for his help with this report.