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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 482039, 4 pages
Case Report

Intestinal Radiation-Induced Stricture Favours Small Bowel Obstruction by Phytobezoar: Report of a Case

1First Clinic of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine Department, University of Genoa, 16143 Genoa, Italy
2Division of Cardiology, Geneva University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Foundation for Medical Researches, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
3Department of Surgical and Morphological Disciplines and Integrated Methodologies, University of Genoa, 16143 Genoa, Italy

Received 14 April 2009; Accepted 12 May 2009

Academic Editor: Gianfranco D. Alpini

Copyright © 2009 Alessandra Quercioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bezoars represent the fifth most frequent cause of acute small bowel obstruction. Phytobezoar is the most common type of bezoar. It is a concretion of undigestible fibers derived from ingested vegetables and fruits. We report a case of a woman with a 1-year history of recurrent epigastric and periumbilical abdominal pain with intermittent vomiting caused by phytobezoar of the terminal ileum. After careful investigation of the case and review of literature, we identified the factor involved in bezoar formation as radiation-induced ileal stenosis due to previous treatment for a pelvic tumour. This report provides evidence to consider phytobezoar as a possible cause of small bowel obstruction in patients previously treated with abdominal radiotherapy.