Turner White CommunicationsAbout TWCSubscribeContact TWCHomeSearch
Hospital PhysicianJCOMSMPBRMsCart
Current Contents
Past Issue Archives
Interactive:
Self-Assessment Questions
Review of
Clinical Signs
Clinical Review
Quiz
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Article Archives
Case Reports
Clinical Practice
Exams
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Review of
Clinical Signs

Guide to Reading
Hospital Physician
Editorial Board
Information for Authors

Reprints, Permissions, & Copyright
Site Map
Self-Assessment Questions

Internal Medicine


Answer 2
  1. Constipation excludes this diagnosis. Patients with C. difficile colitis typically present with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever following a recent course of oral or intravenous antibiotics; these symptoms may follow a very limited antibiotic regimen or may occur several weeks after antibiotics are initiated. Occasionally, chemotherapy can be complicated by C. difficile colitis, which may result from superinfection of inflamed colonic mucosa (often acquired nosocomially during chemotherapy administration). Although most patients have diarrhea, ileus can occur due to bowel hypomotility from acute illness, immobility, electrolyte derangements, and drug usage. In severe cases, a massively dilated, atonic colon can result in sepsis, perforation, and death (toxic megacolon). Constipation is an occasional symptom of C. difficile colitis in the setting of ileus and does not exclude the diagnosis.

Click here to return to the questions

 

Hospital Physician     JCOM     Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
About TWC    Subscribe    Contact TWC    Home    Search   Site Map

Copyright © 2009, Turner White Communications
Updated 1/04/08 • kkj