Pseudomembranous colitis

From Academic Kids

Pseudomembranous colitis is a infection of the colon caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile. The illness is characterized by offensive-smelling diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. It can be severe, causing toxic megacolon, and even fatal.

In most cases the patient had recently been on antibiotics. Antibiotics disturb the normal bowel bacterial flora that generally keeps the bacteria Clostridium difficile under control. Clindamycin is the antibiotic associated with this disorder classically, but any antibiotic can cause the condition. Additional groups at increased risk are diabetics and the elderly. Half of cases are not associated with risk factors.

The disease is ususally treated with metronidazole. Oral vancomycin is an alternative drug. Occasionally metronidazole has been associated with the development of pseudomembranous colitis. In these cases metronidazole is still effective treatment, since the cause of the colitis is not the antibiotic, but rather the change in bacterial flora from a previous round of antibiotics. If antibiotics do not control the infection the patient may require a colectomy (removal of the colon) for treatment of the colitis.


Health science - Medicine - Gastroenterology
Diseases of the esophagus - stomach
Halitosis - Nausea - Vomiting - GERD - Achalasia - Esophageal cancer - Esophageal varices - Peptic ulcer - Abdominal pain - Stomach cancer - Functional dyspepsia
Diseases of the liver - pancreas - gallbladder - biliary tree
Hepatitis - Cirrhosis - NASH - PBC - PSC - Budd-Chiari syndrome - Hepatocellular carcinoma - Pancreatitis - Pancreatic cancer - Gallstones - Cholecystitis
Diseases of the small intestine
Peptic ulcer - Intussusception - Malabsorption (e.g. celiac disease, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, Whipple's disease) - Lymphoma
Diseases of the colon
Diarrhea - Appendicitis - Diverticulitis - Diverticulosis - IBD (Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis) - Irritable bowel syndrome - Constipation - Colorectal cancer - Hirschsprung's disease - Pseudomembranous colitis
de:Pseudomembranöse Colitis
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