Pseudomelanosis ilei associated with ingestion of charcoal: Case report and review of literature

Juhyung Kim, Jin Ki Hwang, Woo Seok Choi, Beom Jae Lee, Jong Jae Park, Jae Seon Kim, Young Tae Bak, Insun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Melanosis or pseudomelanosis of the gastrointestinal tract refers to an accumulation of pigment deposits in the gastrointestinal mucosa. Pigmentation can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract. Melanosis of the colon is not uncommon, but black pigmentation of the small intestine is extremely rare. We report a case of pseudomelanosis of the terminal ileum in a 52-year-old woman who had ingested a tablespoon of charcoal powder daily for 2 years. Numerous small and medium-sized irregular grayish black pigmentations mostly on the background of geographic light grayish discolored mucosa and some on the normal-looking mucosa were seen on the terminal ileum. The finding was similar to a cut surface of a dragon fruit and we named the lesion 'dragon fruit ileum'. Follow up endoscopy 10 months later revealed no significant change in the pigmentation. We could not search any English literature on this lesion. However, we could find three cases from two papers from Korea describing similar lesions after chronic charcoal ingestion and the papers were reviewed with a report of our case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-58
Number of pages3
JournalDigestive Endoscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Charcoal
  • Dragon fruit
  • Ileum
  • Pseudomelanosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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