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Clostridium difficile enteritis: an early postoperative complication in inflammatory bowel disease patients after colectomy. J Gastrointest Surg 2007 Feb;11(2):138-42



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-34548442485   65 Citations


Clostridium difficile, the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea, is known to cause severe colitis. C. difficile small bowel enteritis is rare (14 case reports) with mortality rates ranging from 60 to 83%. C. difficile has increased in incidence particularly among patients with inflammatory bowel disease. This case series of six patients from 2004 to 2006 is the largest in the literature. All patients received antibiotics before colectomies for ulcerative colitis and developed severe enteritis that was C. difficile toxin positive. Three patients underwent ileal pouch anal anastomosis and loop ileostomy. Four of the six patients had C. difficile colitis before colectomy. Presenting symptoms were high volume watery ileostomy output followed by ileus in five of six patients. Four of the six patients presented with fever and elevated WBC. Five of the six developed complications requiring further surgery or prolonged hospitalization. Patients were treated with intravenous hydration and metronidazole then converted to oral metronidazole and/or vancomycin. None of the patients died. A high suspicion of C. difficile enteritis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and history of C. difficile colitis may lead to more rapid diagnosis, aggressive treatment, and improved outcomes for patients with C. difficile enteritis.

Author List

Lundeen SJ, Otterson MF, Binion DG, Carman ET, Peppard WJ


Sarah J. Lundeen NP Nurse Practitioner Surgical in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mary F. Otterson MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
William J. Peppard PharmD Trauma/Surgical Critical Care Pharmacist in the Pharmacy department at Froedtert Hospital

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Clostridium Infections
Clostridium difficile
Cross Infection
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Middle Aged
Postoperative Complications
jenkins-FCD Prod-468 69a93cef3257f26b866d455c1d2b2d0f28382f14