Fulminant Clostridium difficile colitis in a patient with spinal cord injury: Case report

Anil N. Bahadursingh, Parsia A. Vagefi, Walter E. Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In certain patients with Clostridium difficile colitis (CDC), a life-threatening systemic toxicity may develop despite appropriate and timely medical therapy. Design: Literature search and case report. Findings: A 39-year-old man with T10 paraplegia presented with a distended, quiet abdomen following recent treatment with antibiotics for pneumonia. Diarrhea was not present. Complete blood counts demonstrated a marked leukocytosis. A CT scan of the abdomen demonstrated a state of diffuse pancolonic inflammation with peritoneal fluid. The patient was taken to the operating room and underwent total abdominal colectomy with oversewing of the rectal stump and end ileostomy for treatment of the fulminant CDC. Conclusion: Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) often receive antibiotics for infections of the aerodigestive tree and urinary tract and for problems with skin integrity. A heightened awareness of the development of fulminant CDC remains essential in the care of patients with SCI. Any unexplained abdominal illness after recent antibiotic administration should alert the physician to CDC and its potential as a fulminant, potentially fatal illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-268
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clostridium difficile colitis
  • Colectomy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Paraplegia
  • Pseudomembranous colitis
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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