Rectal Picking Masquerading as Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Parisa Salehi, Dale Lee, Lusine Ambartsumyan, Natalie Sikka, Ann O. Scheimann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic syndrome in which individuals have multisystem medical challenges. Gastroenterological difficulties in the syndrome include decreased vomiting, constipation, delayed gastric emptying, delayed colonic transit, dysphagia, increased choking, and increased risk of gastric dilation and rupture. In addition, self-injurious behavior such as rectal picking may be present and severe enough to lead to rectal ulceration and bleeding. Many patients have extensive gastroenterological workup and treatment before their ultimate diagnosis of severe rectal picking. We describe 4 new cases of rectal picking in individuals with PWS leading to rectal bleeding and ulceration as well as a review of the literature of prior cases of severe rectal picking in PWS and potential treatment options. It is important to recognize these cases early in order to prevent unnecessary treatments and implement appropriate behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • rectal bleeding
  • rectal picking
  • rectal ulcer
  • self-injurious behavior
  • skin picking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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