Case report: Pneumatosis in a neonate with thrombocytopenia absent radius syndrome

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Thrombocytopenia absent radius (TAR) syndrome is a rare disease with an estimated prevalence of one in 200,000 live births. TAR is associated with cardiac and renal anomalies as well as gastrointestinal problems such as cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA). Typically neonates with CMPA present with mild intolerance, with few reports in the literature of more severe intolerance resulting in pneumatosis. We present a case of a male infant with TAR syndrome who developed gastric and colonic pneumatosis intestinalis. CASE DESCRIPTION: An eight-day-old male infant born at 36 weeks gestation with a diagnosis of TAR, presented with bright red blood in his stool. At this time he was on full formula feeds. Given continued bright red blood within his stool, an abdominal radiograph was obtained which was consistent with colonic and gastric pneumatosis. A complete blood count (CBC) was notable for worsening thrombocytopenia, anemia and eosinophilia. Once enteral feeds were held there was rapid resolution of the radiographic findings and resolution of his bloody stool. He was ultimately diagnosed with a CMPA. CONCLUSION: Though there are reports of CMPA in patients with TAR, the severity of this patient’s presentation with both colonic and gastric pneumatosis is unique. Without the knowledge of the association of CMPA with TAR, this case could have been misdiagnosed and led to reintroduction of cow’s milk containing formula, resulting in further complications. This case highlights the importance of a timely diagnosis and severity of CMPA in this population.

*Corresponding Author: 

Sinead Brady, MD, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, 3959 Broadway Presbyterian Hospital 17th Fl, New York City, NY 10032, USA. Tel.: +1 845 558 9462; E-mail: