Yersinia enterocolitica intussusception is rarely encountered in patients without an underlying susceptibility and is most frequently reported in iron-overloaded patients. This is thought to be related to the unusual use of iron by this microorganism. We present a case of a 5-year old child with intussusception of the terminal ileum caused by Y. enterocolitica whose past medical history was significant for sickle cell disease. This type of presentation is extremely rare. His monthly blood transfusions may have put him at risk for Y. enterocolitica enterocolitis. The pathogenesis of this disease relates to the role of iron as an essential growth factor for Y. enterocolitica, and this patient’s transfusions left him in an iron overloaded state despite treatment with Deferoxamine. Our patient’s unusual presentation of intusssuception was secondary to the mass effect caused by lymphoid hyperplasia, specifically hypertrophied Peyer’s patches in the ileum caused by the Y. enterocolitica infection. We believe that our case demonstrates that Y. enterocolitica should be considered a possible pathogen in patients with sickle cell disease, especially if symptoms occur shortly after blood transfusion.
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