Sample records for megacolon

  1. Toxic megacolon

    MedlinePLUS

    Toxic megacolon occurs as a complication of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease , and infections of the colon. The term "toxic" means that this complication occurs with infection or ...

  2. [Megacolon and sigmoid volvulus: incidence and physiopathology].

    PubMed

    Saravia Burgos, Jaime; Acosta Canedo, Abel

    2015-01-01

    The etiology of Megacolon is multiple. One of these causes and the most frequent is Chagas disease. Its complication: sigmoid volvulus was de main diagnosis in the admitted patients at the Bolivian and Japanese Gastroenterological Institute of Cochabamba Bolivia. It usually affects people of a low economic income. In this Gastroenterological Hospital a transversal and prospective study has been done, in order to know the real incidence and the physiopathology of this disease. In a six year period, from 2000 to 2006, 8.954 patients were admitted to the Hospital: of these, 814 (9.09%), where diagnosticated as lower intestinal obstruction. In 608 (74.7%) the final diagnosis was sigmoid torsion. Radiological diagnosis was made in 84% of the patients and endoscopic decompression was successful in 88.7%. As reported in the medical literature, the main cause of megacolon in this part of the world is Chagas disease. In our investigation 22% (98 patients), were serology positive to Chagas disease, and another 21.44% (95 patients) were serology negative. They were coca leaf chewers. One of coca leaf compounds is cocaine which blocks the adrenaline and noradrenaline degradation by mean of monoamine oxidase inactivation. These two hormones stay a long term of time in the target organ: the large bowel. By this mean chronic and persistent vessel constriction develops intestinal wall atrophy and lower resistance to the intraintestinal pressure. PMID:25875517

  3. Myxedema megacolon after external neck irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Borrie, M.J.; Cape, R.D.; Troster, M.M.; Fung, S.T.

    1983-04-01

    Myxedema megacolon is a rare manifestation of hypothyroidism. It may respond to appropriate treatment but is sometimes irreversible, resulting in fatal complications. Two possible mechanisms to explain the colonic atony include (1) myxomatous infiltration of the submucosa with separation of the muscular fibers from the ganglia of Auerbach's plexus, and (2) severe autonomic neuropathy affecting the extrinsic nerves to the colon and the myenteric plexus. Histology from our case supports the first proposed mechanism. Urecholine challenge and manometric measure response may help predict reversibility of colonic atony. Treatment should be individualized and should include factors such as age, duration of symptoms, and other medical illness. Low-dose oral or intravenous triiodothyronine is effective. Hypothyroidism following external radiation of the neck for lymphoma is not uncommon, and the risk increases following one or more lymphangiograms. Such patients should be followed up with regular TSH estimations for at least three years.

  4. Toxic megacolon during pregnancy in ulcerative colitis: A case report

    PubMed Central

    Quddus, Ayyaz; Martin-Perez, Beatriz; Schoonyoung, Henry; Albert, Matthew; Atallah, Sam

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Ulcerative colitis is an idiopathic inflammatory bowel condition whose peak incidence coincides with fertility in female patients. In pregnancy, acute fulminant colitis is rare, and, when it becomes refractory to maximum medical therapy, emergency colectomy is mandated. Over the past quarter century, there have been few reports of this rare event in the literature. Presentation of case We report a 26 year old primigravida female who presented with toxic megacolon during the third trimester of pregnancy, unresponsive to medical therapy. She subsequently underwent an urgent low transverse caesarean section with a total colectomy. Both mother and child made a satisfactory recovery post operatively. Discussion Although the fetus is at higher risk than the mother in such a circumstance, morbidity and mortality rates are still noticeably high for both, and therefore, prompt diagnosis is key. Conclusion It is imperative that female patients planning to conceive with a known diagnosis of ulcerative colitis liaise with their obstetricians and gastroenterologists early to optimise medical treatment to prevent the development of a toxic megacolon and that conception is planned during a state of remission. Should surgical intervention become required, this can be performed with favourable outcomes for mother and child, as demonstrated in this report. PMID:25942749

  5. A novel pathogenesis of megacolon in Ncx/Hox11L.1 deficient mice.

    PubMed Central

    Hatano, M; Aoki, T; Dezawa, M; Yusa, S; Iitsuka, Y; Koseki, H; Taniguchi, M; Tokuhisa, T

    1997-01-01

    The Ncx/Hox11L.1 gene, a member of the Hox11 homeobox gene family, is mainly expressed in neural crest-derived tissues. To elucidate the role of Ncx/Hox11L.1, the gene has been inactivated in embryonic stem cells by homologous recombination. The homozygous mutant mice were viable. These mice developed megacolon with enteric ganglia by age 3-5 wk. Histochemical analysis of the ganglia revealed that the enteric neurons hyperinnervated in the narrow segment of megacolon. Some of these neuronal cells degenerated and neuronal cell death occurred in later stages. We propose that Ncx/Hox11L.1 is required for maintenance of proper functions of the enteric nervous system. These mutant mice can be used to elucidate a novel pathogenesis for human neuronal intestinal dysplasia. PMID:9259577

  6. AIDS related Kaposi's sarcoma presenting as ulcerative colitis and complicated by toxic megacolon.

    PubMed Central

    Biggs, B A; Crowe, S M; Lucas, C R; Ralston, M; Thompson, I L; Hardy, K J

    1987-01-01

    Gastrointestinal Kaposi's sarcoma is a well described and usually asymptomatic manifestation of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We report a patient who had extensive colonic Kaposi's sarcoma and presented with an ulcerative colitis like illness. Total colectomy was subsequently required as an emergency procedure for toxic megacolon. The patient remains well on maintenance interferon therapy 21 months after surgery. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:3678959

  7. Constipation and megacolon in rats related to treatment with oxodipine, a calcium antagonist.

    PubMed

    Nyska, A; Waner, T; Galiano, A; Fich, A

    1994-01-01

    The constipatory effects of oxodipine, a dihyrdopyridine-type calcium antagonist, have been described in a 3-mo, 12-mo, and 30-mo feeding toxicity study in rats. This paper reports the occurrence of megacolon in rats as a result of the constipatory effects of chronic administration of oxodipine. The first mortality due to oxodipine was seen after about 1 yr of treatment at a dose of 225 mg/kg/day. The toxic effects noted were dose-, time-, and sex-related. Female rats appeared more sensitive to the constipatory effects of the drug. The dose at which the effect occurred in both male and female rats was from about 75 to 675 times the recommended therapeutic dose for humans. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first report of a calcium channel blocker causing constipation in rats. PMID:7732276

  8. Goldberg-Shprintzen megacolon syndrome with associated sensory motor axonal neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Dafsari, Hormos Salimi; Byrne, Susan; Lin, Jean-Pierre; Pitt, Matthew; Jongbloed, Jan Dh; Flinter, Frances; Jungbluth, Heinz

    2015-06-01

    Goldberg-Shprintzen megacolon syndrome (GOSHS) (OMIM 609460) is characterized by a combination of learning difficulties, characteristic dysmorphic features and Hirschsprung's disease. Variable clinical features include iris coloboma, congenital heart defects and central nervous system abnormalities, in particular polymicrogyria. GOSHS has been attributed to recessive mutations in KIAA1279, encoding kinesin family member (KIF)-binding protein (KBP) with a crucial role in neuronal microtubule dynamics. Here we report on a 7-year-old girl with GOSHS as a result of a homozygous deletion of exons 5 and 6 of the KIAA1279 gene. She had been referred with the suspicion of an underlying neuromuscular disorder before the genetic diagnosis was established, prompted by the findings of motor developmental delay, hypotonia, ptosis and absent reflexes. Neurophysiological studies revealed unequivocal evidence of a peripheral axonal sensory motor neuropathy. We hypothesize that an axonal sensory motor neuropathy may be part of the phenotypical spectrum of KIAA1279-related GOSHS, probably reflecting the effects of reduced KBP protein expression on peripheral neuronal function. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25846562

  9. Could the complications of megacolon be avoided by monitoring the risk patients? cases report.

    PubMed

    Toro, A; Cappello, G; Mannino, M; Di Carlo, I

    2014-01-01

    We report 2 cases of megacolon associated with cerebrovascular accident and neuropsychiatric drug consumption. Case report 1: a 75-year-old woman with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, tachycardia with atrial fibrillation, bilateral pleural effusions and previous cerebral hemorrhage was admitted in our hospital. She presented clouded sensorium and abdominal distension, with closed alvus. The CT scan showed a distension of the colon, with severe fecal impaction. A volvulus of the sigma was found at surgical intervention.Case report 2: a 59-year-old man with a medical history of oligophrenia was admitted to our hospital for acute abdomen.He presented stupor and closed alvus with abdominal distension. The abdominal CT scan showed a dolichosigma, with fecal impaction. The patient was submitted to a laparotomy and a two millimetres perforation of the sigma was found.The sigma had a diameter of 28 cm and a length of 75 cm.Even if a clear correlation has not been found yet, anomalies of the regulation of the gastro-intestinal motility can occur at different levels in patients with psychiatric or cerebrovascular diseases and drug consumption with anticholinergic properties,and they should be carefully monitored. The purpose is an early diagnosis of colon function anomalies in order to avoid potentially fatal complications. PMID:25149623

  10. Male-Biased Aganglionic Megacolon in the TashT Mouse Line Due to Perturbation of Silencer Elements in a Large Gene Desert of Chromosome 10

    PubMed Central

    Touré, Aboubacrine M.; Béland, Mélanie; Raiwet, Diana L.; Silversides, David W.; Pilon, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Neural crest cells (NCC) are a transient migratory cell population that generates diverse cell types such as neurons and glia of the enteric nervous system (ENS). Via an insertional mutation screen for loci affecting NCC development in mice, we identified one line—named TashT—that displays a partially penetrant aganglionic megacolon phenotype in a strong male-biased manner. Interestingly, this phenotype is highly reminiscent of human Hirschsprung’s disease, a neurocristopathy with a still unexplained male sex bias. In contrast to the megacolon phenotype, colonic aganglionosis is almost fully penetrant in homozygous TashT animals. The sex bias in megacolon expressivity can be explained by the fact that the male ENS ends, on average, around a “tipping point” of minimal colonic ganglionosis while the female ENS ends, on average, just beyond it. Detailed analysis of embryonic intestines revealed that aganglionosis in homozygous TashT animals is due to slower migration of enteric NCC. The TashT insertional mutation is localized in a gene desert containing multiple highly conserved elements that exhibit repressive activity in reporter assays. RNAseq analyses and 3C assays revealed that the TashT insertion results, at least in part, in NCC-specific relief of repression of the uncharacterized gene Fam162b; an outcome independently confirmed via transient transgenesis. The transcriptional signature of enteric NCC from homozygous TashT embryos is also characterized by the deregulation of genes encoding members of the most important signaling pathways for ENS formation—Gdnf/Ret and Edn3/Ednrb—and, intriguingly, the downregulation of specific subsets of X-linked genes. In conclusion, this study not only allowed the identification of Fam162b coding and regulatory sequences as novel candidate loci for Hirschsprung’s disease but also provides important new insights into its male sex bias. PMID:25786024

  11. "Ulcerative crepitus" -- a case with subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum without colonic perforation or toxic megacolon in ulcerative colitis successfully treated conservatively.

    PubMed

    Annaházi, Anita; Polyák, Ilona; Nagy, Ferenc; Wittmann, Tibor; Molnár, Tamás

    2012-07-01

    A 19-year-old man with a 1-year history of ulcerative colitis presented with fever, bloody diarrhea and severe dehidration. He was on po.48 mg methylprednisolon and 3 g mesalazine daily, and has recently finished taking chlarythromycin for Campylobacter jejuni infection. On physical examination, no abdominal tenderness was found, but surprisingly, extensive bilateral subcutaneous emphysema was detected in the supraclavicular regions. Laboratory tests proved anaemia, elevated white blood cell count, thrombocyte count and CRP levels. Stool culture was negative. Chest X-ray and CT scan revealed pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous air on the neck spreading to the scapular regions. Besides blood transfusion, iv. cyclosporin therapy was initiated (200 mg/day) along with iv. methylprednisolon (1mg/kg/day) and iv. ceftriaxon (2 g/day). Stool frequency and bloody stools decreased remarkably within one week, and subcutaneous emphysema has resolved. Colonoscopy one week later revealed deep, extensive ulcerations in the transverse and descending colon without any sign of previous perforation. Cyclosporin and methylprednisolon was continued orally. Pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema in ulcerative colitis are unusual complications, typically linked to retroperitoneal colonic perforation or toxic megacolon, and are extremely rare without preceding endoscopic procedures. Except from two cases in the literature, conservative treatment with iv. antibiotics and steroids failed to save from urgent surgical procedure, resulting in a partial or total colectomy. In our case we were able to avoid urgent surgery by the immediate use of iv. cyclosporin in combination with iv. steroids and antibiotics, while the outcome of the bowel remains questionable in the next few months. PMID:22398071

  12. Megacolon in adulthood after surgical treatment of Hirschsprung’s disease in early childhood

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Christoph R.; Stoltenburg-Didinger, Gisela; Weidemann, Henning; Benckert, Christoph; Schmidtmann, Marco; van der Voort, Ivo R.; Andresen, Viola; Klapp, Burghard F.; Neuhaus, Peter; Wiedenmann, Bertram; Mönnikes, Hubert

    2005-01-01

    Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) is a disorder associated with congenital malformation of the enteric nervous system with segmental aganglionosis. Prevailing therapy includes a resection of the affected part of the bowel. However, patients often do not obtain complete functional improvement after surgical treatment. We present the case of a 25-year-old woman who had surgical treatment of HD in early childhood. After that procedure she had clinical features of constipation for years in the end, passing of stool once a week, requiring laxatives and enemas. We diagnosed an incomplete resection of the aganglionic bowel via rectal biopsy and resected the remaining aganglionic segment. Two months after surgery the patient’s bowel function improved to a frequency of 1-4 stools per day. We conclude that regular follow-up is required to identify HD patients with persistent alterations of bowel function after surgery. In patients presenting with constipation, recognition of a remaining aganglionic segment or other alterations of the enteric nervous system should be aimed at in an early stage. PMID:16237779

  13. Fulminant amoebic colitis following loperamide use.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Alastair; Brown, Michael; Thway, Khin; Wright, Stephen G

    2007-01-01

    Toxic megacolon is a rare consequence of infection with Entamoeba histolytica. We present such a patient in whom the course of disease may have been influenced by heavy loperamide use. Loperamide and other anti-motility agents have been implicated previously in the pathogenesis of toxic megacolon in patients with infectious gastroenteritis. PMID:17241255

  14. Decompressive colonoscopy with intracolonic vancomycin administration for the treatment of severe pseudomembranouscolitis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. Shetler; R. Nieuwenhuis; Sherry M. Wren; G. Triadafilopoulos

    2001-01-01

      Background: We explored the potential of early decompressive colonoscopy with intracolonic vancomycin administration as an\\u000a adjunctive therapy for severe pseudomembranous Clostridium difficile colitis with ileus and toxic megacolon. Methods: We reviewed\\u000a the symptoms, signs, laboratory tests, radiographic findings, and outcomes from the medical records of seven patients who\\u000a experienced eight episodes of severe pseudomembranous colitis with ileus and toxic megacolon.

  15. TTF-1 and RET promoter SNPs: regulation of RET transcription in Hirschsprung's disease

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Raymond W. Ganster; Vincent C. H. Lui; Thomas Y. Y. Leon; Man-Ting So; Anson M. F. Lau; Ming Fu; Mai-Har Sham; Joanne Knight; Maria Stella Zannini; Pak C. Sham; Paul K. H. Tam

    2005-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the coding regions of receptor tyrosine kinase gene (RET )a re associated with Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR, aganglionic megacolon). These SNPs, individually or com- bined, may act as a low penetrance susceptibility locus and\\/or be in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with another susceptibility locus located in RET regulatory regions. Because two RET promoter SNPs have been found

  16. Gastrointestinal pathology in South America.

    PubMed

    Rolón, P A

    1979-04-01

    Non-neoplastic gastrointestinal disease in South America is largely related to environmental conditions. Parasitic disorders, including Chagas' disease with megacolon, predominate in endemic regions. Common enteritides of various etiologie are frequent, whereas appendicits, diverticulosis of the colon, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are extremely rare. There was no appendicitis in native Indians of Paraguay. PMID:109417

  17. [Motility disorders of the colon].

    PubMed

    Müller-Lissner, S

    2015-06-01

    The motility of the colon is modulated by the enteric nervous system. It is very complex, governing backward and forward movements of the feces. Primary megacolon and megarectum are clinically diverse. Megacolon refractory to laxative treatment may be subject to colectomy, while megarectum should be treated by consistent laxation. Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction may occur with severe systemic diseases and electrolyte disturbances or it may be postoperatively and/or medically induced. A small proportion of chronically constipated patients suffer from slow transit constipation, others from disordered defecation. In the remaining patients no objective cause of the complaints may be found. In slow transit constipation, propulsive colonic motility is disturbed, dietary fiber is ineffective, and the response to bisacodyl is blunted. Pelvic floor dyssynergia is characterized by a voluntary (although unconscious) contraction of the anal sphincter simultaneously with the abdominal muscles. It can be treated by avoiding straining and by sphincter training. PMID:25940144

  18. Strategies for the Care of Adults Hospitalized for Active Ulcerative Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Pola, Suresh; Patel, Derek; Ramamoorthy, Sonia; McLemore, Elisabeth; Fahmy, Marianne; Rivera-Nieves, Jesus; Chang, John T; Evans, Elisabeth; Docherty, Michael; Talamini, Mark; Sandborn, William J

    2014-01-01

    Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon; as many as 25% of patients with this disease require hospitalization. The goals of hospitalization are to assess disease severity, exclude infection, administer rapidly acting and highly effective medication regimens, and determine response. During the hospitalization, patients should be given venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and monitored for development of toxic megacolon. Patients who do not respond to intravenous corticosteroids should be considered for rescue therapy with infliximab or cyclosporine. Patients who are refractory to medical therapies or who develop toxic megacolon should be evaluated promptly for colectomy. Patients who do respond to medical therapies should be discharged on an appropriate maintenance regimen when they meet discharge criteria. We review practical evidence-based management principles and propose a day-by-day algorithm for managing patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis. PMID:22835577

  19. Strategies for the care of adults hospitalized for active ulcerative colitis.

    PubMed

    Pola, Suresh; Patel, Derek; Ramamoorthy, Sonia; McLemore, Elisabeth; Fahmy, Marianne; Rivera-Nieves, Jesus; Chang, John T; Evans, Elisabeth; Docherty, Michael; Talamini, Mark; Sandborn, William J

    2012-12-01

    Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon; as many as 25% of patients with this disease require hospitalization. The goals of hospitalization are to assess disease severity, exclude infection, administer rapidly acting and highly effective medication regimens, and determine response. During hospitalization, patients should be given venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and monitored for the development of toxic megacolon. Patients who do not respond to intravenous corticosteroids should be considered for rescue therapy with infliximab or cyclosporine. Patients who are refractory to medical therapies or who develop toxic megacolon should be evaluated promptly for colectomy. Patients who do respond to medical therapies should be discharged on an appropriate maintenance regimen when they meet discharge criteria. We review practical evidence-based management principles and propose a day-by-day algorithm for managing patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis. PMID:22835577

  20. The temporal requirement for endothelin receptor-B signalling during neural crest development

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Myung K. Shin; John M. Levorse; Robert S. Ingram; Shirley M. Tilghman

    1999-01-01

    Endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) is a G-protein-coupled receptor with seven transmembrane domains which is required for the development of melanocytes and enteric neurons. Mice that are homozygous for a null mutation in the Ednrb gene are almost completely white and die as juveniles from megacolon. To determine when EDNRB signalling is required during embryogenesis, we have exploited the tetracycline-inducible system

  1. Human GFRA1: Cloning, Mapping, Genomic Structure, and Evaluation as a Candidate Gene for Hirschsprung Disease Susceptibility

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Misha Angrist; Shuqian Jing; Stacey Bolk; Kimberly Bentley; Sudha Nallasamy; Marc Halushka; Gary M. Fox; Aravinda Chakravarti

    1998-01-01

    Congenital aganglionic megacolon, commonly known as Hirschsprung disease (HSCR), is the most frequent cause of congenital bowel obstruction. Germline mutations in theRETreceptor tyrosine kinase have been shown to cause HSCR. Knockout mice forRETand for its ligand, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), exhibit both complete intestinal aganglionosis and renal defects. Recently, GDNF and GFRA1 (GDNF family receptor, also known as

  2. Mutations of the RET proto-oncogene in Hirschsprung's disease

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Patrick Edery; Stanislas Lyonnet; Lois M. Mulligan; Anna Pelet; Eleanore Dow; Laurent Abel; Susan Holder; Claire Nihoul-Fékété; Bruce A. J. Ponder; Arnold Munnich

    1994-01-01

    HIRSCHSPRUNG'S disease (HSCR)1 is a common condition (1 in 5,000 live births) resulting in intestinal obstruction in neonates2 and megacolon in infants and adults3. This disease has been ascribed to the absence of autonomic ganglion cells, which are derived from the neural crest, in the terminal hindgut4. Segregation analyses have suggested incompletely penetrant dominant inheritance in familial HSCR5. Recently, a

  3. Immature enteric neurons in Ncx\\/Hox11L.1 deficient intestinal neuronal dysplasia model mice

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Yoshifumi Kato; Katsumi Miyahara; Masahiko Hatano; Yuta Hasegawa; Tatsunori Seki; Philip K. Frykman; Junichi Kusafuka; Atsuyuki Yamataka

    2009-01-01

    Aim  The Ncx\\/Hox11L.1 gene is required for adequate development of enteric neurons in mice and Ncx\\/Hox11L.1 deficient (Ncx?\\/?)\\u000a mice are used as a model for human intestinal neuronal dysplasia (IND) because of similar histopathology (hyperganglionosis),\\u000a however, some 50% of Ncx?\\/? mice develop megacolon with a caliber change in the proximal colon, and die when 21–35 days old.\\u000a We used polysialylated neural cell

  4. Fulminant ulcerative colitis in a healthy pregnant woman

    PubMed Central

    Orabona, Rossana; Valcamonico, Adriana; Salemme, Marianna; Manenti, Stefania; Tiberio, Guido AM; Frusca, Tiziana

    2015-01-01

    This case report concerns a 25-year-old patient with 6-7 bloody stools/d, abdominal pain, tachycardia, and weight loss occurring during the third trimester of pregnancy. Severe ulcerative colitis complicated by toxic megacolon and gravidic sepsis was diagnosed by clinical evaluation, colonoscopy, and rectal biopsy that were performed safely without risk for the mother or baby. The patient underwent a cesarean section at 28+6 wk gestation. The baby was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit of our hospital and survived without complications. Fulminant colitis was managed conservatively by combined colonoscopic decompression and medical treatment. Although current European guidelines describe toxic megacolon as an indication for emergency surgery for both pregnant and non-pregnant women, thanks to careful monitoring, endoscopic decompression, and intensive medical therapy with nutritional support, we prevented the woman from having to undergo emergency pancolectomy. Our report seems to suggest that conservative management may be a helpful tool in preventing pancolectomy if the patient’s condition improves quickly. Otherwise, surgery is mandatory. PMID:26019473

  5. Fulminant ulcerative colitis in a healthy pregnant woman.

    PubMed

    Orabona, Rossana; Valcamonico, Adriana; Salemme, Marianna; Manenti, Stefania; Tiberio, Guido Am; Frusca, Tiziana

    2015-05-21

    This case report concerns a 25-year-old patient with 6-7 bloody stools/d, abdominal pain, tachycardia, and weight loss occurring during the third trimester of pregnancy. Severe ulcerative colitis complicated by toxic megacolon and gravidic sepsis was diagnosed by clinical evaluation, colonoscopy, and rectal biopsy that were performed safely without risk for the mother or baby. The patient underwent a cesarean section at 28+6 wk gestation. The baby was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit of our hospital and survived without complications. Fulminant colitis was managed conservatively by combined colonoscopic decompression and medical treatment. Although current European guidelines describe toxic megacolon as an indication for emergency surgery for both pregnant and non-pregnant women, thanks to careful monitoring, endoscopic decompression, and intensive medical therapy with nutritional support, we prevented the woman from having to undergo emergency pancolectomy. Our report seems to suggest that conservative management may be a helpful tool in preventing pancolectomy if the patient's condition improves quickly. Otherwise, surgery is mandatory. PMID:26019473

  6. Biologics in the management of ulcerative colitis - comparative safety and efficacy of TNF-? antagonists.

    PubMed

    Fausel, Rebecca; Afzali, Anita

    2015-01-01

    Ulcerative colitis can cause debilitating symptoms and complications such as colonic strictures, colonic dysplasia, colorectal cancer, and toxic megacolon or perforation. Goals of treatment in ulcerative colitis include resolution of gastrointestinal symptoms, healing of colonic mucosa, and prevention of disease complications. Our treatment armamentarium has expanded dramatically over the past 10 years, and we now have multiple biologic agents approved for the treatment of moderate-severe disease, in addition to conventional therapies such as 5-aminosalicylates, thiopurines, and corticosteroids. In this review, we will provide a detailed discussion of the three tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) inhibitors currently approved for treatment of ulcerative colitis: infliximab, adalimumab, and golimumab. All three agents are effective for inducing and maintaining clinical response and remission in patients with ulcerative colitis, and they have comparable safety profiles. There are no head-to-head trials comparing their efficacy, and the choice of agent is most often based on insurance coverage, route of administration, and patient preference. Combination therapy with an immunomodulator is proven to be more effective than anti-TNF monotherapy, and patients who lose response to an anti-TNF agent should undergo dose intensification in order to regain clinical response. Despite therapeutic optimization, a significant percentage of patients will not achieve clinical remission with anti-TNF agents, and so newer therapies are on the horizon. PMID:25609972

  7. A chicken model of pharmacologically-induced Hirschsprung disease reveals an unexpected role of glucocorticoids in enteric aganglionosis.

    PubMed

    Gasc, Jean-Marie; Clemessy, Maud; Corvol, Pierre; Kempf, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    The enteric nervous system originates from neural crest cells that migrate in chains as they colonize the embryonic gut, eventually forming the myenteric and submucosal plexus. Failure of the neural crest cells to colonize the gut leads to aganglionosis in the terminal gut, a pathological condition called Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) in humans, also known as congenital megacolon or intestinal aganglionosis. One of the characteristics of the human HSCR is its variable penetrance, which may be attributable to the interaction between genetic factors, such as the endothelin-3/endothelin receptor B pathway, and non-genetic modulators, although the role of the latter has not well been established. We have created a novel HSCR model in the chick embryo allowing to test the ability of non-genetic modifiers to alter the HSCR phenotype. Chick embryos treated by phosphoramidon, which blocks the generation of endothelin-3, failed to develop enteric ganglia in the very distal bowel, characteristic of an HSCR-like phenotype. Administration of dexamethasone influenced the phenotype, suggesting that glucocorticoids may be environmental modulators of the penetrance of the aganglionosis in HSCR disease. PMID:25836673

  8. Case Report: Severe form of hemolytic-uremic syndrome with multiple organ failure in a child: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Mijatovic, Dino; Blagaic, Ana; Zupan, Zeljko

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a leading cause of acute renal failure in infants and young children. It is traditionally defined as a triad of acute renal failure, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia that occur within a week after prodromal hemorrhagic enterocolitis. Severe cases can also be presented by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), toxic megacolon with ileus, pancreatitis, central nervous system (CNS) disorders and multiple organ failure (MOF). Case presentation: A previously healthy 4-year old Caucasian girl developed acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia following a short episode of abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. By the end of the first week the diagnosis of the typical HUS was established. During the second week the disease progressed into MOF that included ileus, pancreatitis, hepatitis, coma and ARDS, accompanied by hemodynamic instability and extreme leukocytosis. Nonetheless, the girl made a complete recovery after one month of the disease. She was successfully treated in the intensive care unit and significant improvement was noticed after plasmapheresis and continuous veno-venous hemodialysis. Conclusions: Early start of plasmapheresis and meticulous supportive treatment in the intensive care unit, including renal placement therapy, may be the therapy of choice in severe cases of HUS presented by MOF. Monitoring of prognostic factors is important for early performance of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutical interventions. PMID:25075296

  9. [Giant Meckel's diverticulum in an adult].

    PubMed

    Rivas, Tomas Contreras; Gallardo, Nasser Eluzen; Valenzuela, Sebastian King; Pezoa, María Elena Molina; Zúńiga, José Miguel; Muńoz, Carol Bustamante; Saralic, Biserka Spralja

    2014-01-01

    Meckel's diverticulum results from a partial persistence of the omphalomesenteric duct and is the most common congenital anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract, affecting about 2% of the general population. Its presentation as a giant Meckel's diverticulum (>5 cm) is rare and is associated with major complications. We report a case of a 53 year-old woman with constipation for at least ten years. A colonoscopy from eight years ago suggested megacolon. The patient consults in the last month for abdominal pain associated with anorexia. The computed tomography scan image suggested an ileal megadiverticulum. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a saccular dilatation of the distal ileum of 6 x 15.5 cm, located 20 cm away from the ileocecal valve. We resected the involved segment of distal ileum and performed a manual ileo-ascendo anastomosis. The biopsy showed a saccular dilatation of the wall, lined by small intestinal mucosa with areas of gastric metaplasia, supporting the diagnosis of giant Meckel's diverticulum. PMID:25299124

  10. The immunology of experimental Chagas' disease. IV. Production of lesions in rabbits similar to those of chronic Chagas' disease in man.

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, A. R.; Teixeira, M. L.; Santos-Buch, C. A.

    1975-01-01

    Eight rabbits that received a single inoculation of trypomastigotes of a virulent strain of Trypanosoma cruzi first developed a transient acute illness associated with parasitemia; later, 4 of these rabbits died with chronic myocarditis and/or with megacolon in the absence of demonstrable parasitemia or encysted parasites in tissues. Two of these rabbits with chronic myocarditis died unexpectedly. Three of the inoculated rabbits that survived the infection were sacrificed 18 months later and showed similar but less severe microscopic lesions. The remaining rabbit is alive and well at the time of writing (26 months) with negative blood cultures but high hemagglutinating antibody titers to T. cruzi antigens. The natural course of T. cruzi infection in rabbits and the lesions observed postmortem are similar to those recorded for humans with chronic Chagas' disease. Multiple injections of particulate subcellular antigens of T. cruzi in rabbits resulted in microscopic lesions similar to those observed in rabbits that survived protozoan infection. Sera of rabbits inoculated with T. cruzi have antibodies to striated and smooth muscle structures. However, evidence provided in this and in other experiments strongly suggest that the lesions of chronic Chagas' disease are produced by delayed hypersensitivity to T. cruzi antigens. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figures 3-4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:808136

  11. Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile Infection: an Ongoing Conundrum for Clinicians and for Clinical Laboratories

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Karen C.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Clostridium difficile is a formidable nosocomial and community-acquired pathogen, causing clinical presentations ranging from asymptomatic colonization to self-limiting diarrhea to toxic megacolon and fulminant colitis. Since the early 2000s, the incidence of C. difficile disease has increased dramatically, and this is thought to be due to the emergence of new strain types. For many years, the mainstay of C. difficile disease diagnosis was enzyme immunoassays for detection of the C. difficile toxin(s), although it is now generally accepted that these assays lack sensitivity. A number of molecular assays are commercially available for the detection of C. difficile. This review covers the history and biology of C. difficile and provides an in-depth discussion of the laboratory methods used for the diagnosis of C. difficile infection (CDI). In addition, strain typing methods for C. difficile and the evolving epidemiology of colonization and infection with this organism are discussed. Finally, considerations for diagnosing C. difficile disease in special patient populations, such as children, oncology patients, transplant patients, and patients with inflammatory bowel disease, are described. As detection of C. difficile in clinical specimens does not always equate with disease, the diagnosis of C. difficile infection continues to be a challenge for both laboratories and clinicians. PMID:23824374

  12. A chicken model of pharmacologically-induced Hirschsprung disease reveals an unexpected role of glucocorticoids in enteric aganglionosis

    PubMed Central

    Gasc, Jean-Marie; Clemessy, Maud; Corvol, Pierre; Kempf, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    The enteric nervous system originates from neural crest cells that migrate in chains as they colonize the embryonic gut, eventually forming the myenteric and submucosal plexus. Failure of the neural crest cells to colonize the gut leads to aganglionosis in the terminal gut, a pathological condition called Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) in humans, also known as congenital megacolon or intestinal aganglionosis. One of the characteristics of the human HSCR is its variable penetrance, which may be attributable to the interaction between genetic factors, such as the endothelin-3/endothelin receptor B pathway, and non-genetic modulators, although the role of the latter has not well been established. We have created a novel HSCR model in the chick embryo allowing to test the ability of non-genetic modifiers to alter the HSCR phenotype. Chick embryos treated by phosphoramidon, which blocks the generation of endothelin-3, failed to develop enteric ganglia in the very distal bowel, characteristic of an HSCR-like phenotype. Administration of dexamethasone influenced the phenotype, suggesting that glucocorticoids may be environmental modulators of the penetrance of the aganglionosis in HSCR disease. PMID:25836673

  13. Myenteric plexus is differentially affected by infection with distinct Trypanosoma cruzi strains in Beagle dogs.

    PubMed

    Nogueira-Paiva, Nívia Carolina; Fonseca, Kátia da Silva; Vieira, Paula Melo de Abreu; Diniz, Lívia Figueiredo; Caldas, Ivo Santana; Moura, Sandra Aparecida Lima de; Veloso, Vanja Maria; Guedes, Paulo Marcos da Matta; Tafuri, Washington Luiz; Bahia, Maria Terezinha; Carneiro, Cláudia Martins

    2014-02-01

    Chagasic megaoesophagus and megacolon are characterised by motor abnormalities related to enteric nervous system lesions and their development seems to be related to geographic distribution of distinct Trypanosoma cruzi subpopulations. Beagle dogs were infected with Y or Berenice-78 (Be-78) T. cruzi strains and necropsied during the acute or chronic phase of experimental disease for post mortem histopathological evaluation of the oesophagus and colon. Both strains infected the oesophagus and colon and caused an inflammatory response during the acute phase. In the chronic phase, inflammatory process was observed exclusively in the Be-78 infected animals, possibly due to a parasitism persistent only in this group. Myenteric denervation occurred during the acute phase of infection for both strains, but persisted chronically only in Be-78 infected animals. Glial cell involvement occurred earlier in animals infected with the Y strain, while animals infected with the Be-78 strain showed reduced glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive area of enteric glial cells in the chronic phase. These results suggest that although both strains cause lesions in the digestive tract, the Y strain is associated with early control of the lesion, while the Be-78 strain results in progressive gut lesions in this model. PMID:24271001

  14. A novel mutation in the endothelin B receptor gene in a moroccan family with shah-waardenburg syndrome.

    PubMed

    Doubaj, Yassamine; Pingault, Véronique; Elalaoui, Siham C; Ratbi, Ilham; Azouz, Mohamed; Zerhouni, Hicham; Ettayebi, Fouad; Sefiani, Abdelaziz

    2015-02-01

    Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is a neurocristopathy disorder combining sensorineural deafness and pigmentary abnormalities. The presence of additional signs defines the 4 subtypes. WS type IV, also called Shah-Waardenburg syndrome (SWS), is characterized by the association with congenital aganglionic megacolon (Hirschsprung disease). To date, 3 causative genes have been related to this congenital disorder. Mutations in the EDNRB and EDN3 genes are responsible for the autosomal recessive form of SWS, whereas SOX10 mutations are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. We report here the case of a 3-month-old Morrocan girl with WS type IV, born to consanguineous parents. The patient had 3 cousins who died in infancy with the same symptoms. Molecular analysis by Sanger sequencing revealed the presence of a novel homozygous missense mutation c.1133A>G (p.Asn378Ser) in the EDNRB gene. The proband's parents as well as the parents of the deceased cousins are heterozygous carriers of this likely pathogenic mutation. This molecular diagnosis allows us to provide genetic counseling to the family and eventually propose prenatal diagnosis to prevent recurrence of the disease in subsequent pregnancies. PMID:25852447

  15. Biologics in the management of ulcerative colitis – comparative safety and efficacy of TNF-? antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Fausel, Rebecca; Afzali, Anita

    2015-01-01

    Ulcerative colitis can cause debilitating symptoms and complications such as colonic strictures, colonic dysplasia, colorectal cancer, and toxic megacolon or perforation. Goals of treatment in ulcerative colitis include resolution of gastrointestinal symptoms, healing of colonic mucosa, and prevention of disease complications. Our treatment armamentarium has expanded dramatically over the past 10 years, and we now have multiple biologic agents approved for the treatment of moderate-severe disease, in addition to conventional therapies such as 5-aminosalicylates, thiopurines, and corticosteroids. In this review, we will provide a detailed discussion of the three tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) inhibitors currently approved for treatment of ulcerative colitis: infliximab, adalimumab, and golimumab. All three agents are effective for inducing and maintaining clinical response and remission in patients with ulcerative colitis, and they have comparable safety profiles. There are no head-to-head trials comparing their efficacy, and the choice of agent is most often based on insurance coverage, route of administration, and patient preference. Combination therapy with an immunomodulator is proven to be more effective than anti-TNF monotherapy, and patients who lose response to an anti-TNF agent should undergo dose intensification in order to regain clinical response. Despite therapeutic optimization, a significant percentage of patients will not achieve clinical remission with anti-TNF agents, and so newer therapies are on the horizon. PMID:25609972

  16. Clinical Severity of Clostridium difficile PCR Ribotype 027: A Case-Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Oliver W.; Rodrigues, Boaventura; Elston, Tony; Verlander, Neville Q.; Brown, Derek F. J.; Brazier, Jonathan; Reacher, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Background Clostridium difficile is a leading infectious cause of health care associated diarrhoea. Several industrialised countries have reported increased C. difficile infections and outbreaks, which have been attributed to the emergent PCR ribotype 027 strain. Methods and Findings We conducted a case-case study to compare severity of C. difficile disease for patients with 027 versus non-027 ribotypes. We retrospectively collected clinical information about 123/136 patients with C. difficile infections admitted to hospitals in the East of England region in 2006 and from whom stool isolates were cultured and ribotyped as part of an earlier national survey. We defined severe C. difficile disease as having one or more of shock, paralytic ileus, pseudo membranous colitis or toxic megacolon. Patient median age was 83 years old (range 3 to 98, interquartile range 75 to 89), 86% were prescribed antibiotics in the eight weeks before illness onset, 41% had ribotype 027 and 30-day all cause mortality during hospital admission was 21%. Severe disease occurred in 24% (95%CI 13% to 37%) and 17% (95%CI 9% to 27%) of patients with PCR ribotype 027 and non-027 ribotypes respectively. In a multivariable model, ribotype 027 was not associated with severe disease after adjusting for sex, discharge from hospital prior to 60 days of current admission, gastroenteritis on admission, number of initiator antibiotics for C. difficile disease, and hospital where the patient was admitted. Conclusions Our study found no evidence to support previous assertions that ribotype 027 is more virulent than other PCR ribotypes. This finding raises questions about the contribution of this strain to the recent increase in C. difficile disease throughout North America and Europe. PMID:18350149

  17. Analysis of human chromosome 21 for a locus conferring susceptibility to Hirschsprung Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Bolk, S.; Duggan, D.J.; Chakravarti, A. [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)

    1994-09-01

    It has been estimated that approximately 5% of patients diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease (HSCR), or aganglionic megacolon, have trisomy 21. Since the incidence of Hirschsprung disease is 1/5000 live births and the incidence of trisomy 21 is approximately 1/1000 live births, the observed occurrence of HSCR in trisomy 21 is fifty times higher than expected. We propose that at least one locus on chromosome 21 predisposes to HSCR. Although at fifty times elevated risk, only 1% of Down Syndrome cases have HSCR. Thus additional genes or genetic events are necessary for HSCR to manifest in patients with trisomy 21. Based on segregation analysis, Badner et al. postulated that recessive genes may be responsible for up to 80% of HSCR. We postulate that at least one such gene is on chromosome 21 and increased homozygosity for common recessive HSCR mutations may be one cause for the elevated risk of HSCR in cases of trisomy 21. To map such a chromosome 21 locus, we are searching for segments of human chromosome 21 which are identical by descent from the parent in whom non-disjunction occurred. These segments will arise either from meiosis I (followed by a crossover between the centromere and the locus) or from meiosis II (followed by no crossovers). Nine nuclear families with a proband diagnosed with HSCR and Down Syndrome have been genotyped for 18 microsatellite markers spanning human chromosome 21q. In all nine cases analyzed thus far, trisomy 21 resulted from maternal non-disjunction at meiosis I. At this point no single IBD region is apparent. Therefore, additional families are being ascertained and additional markers at high density are being genotyped to map the HSCR locus.

  18. Hirschsprung's disease as a model of complex genetic etiology.

    PubMed

    Borrego, Salud; Ruiz-Ferrer, Macarena; Fernández, Raquel M; Antińolo, Guillermo

    2013-09-01

    Hirschsprung disease (HSCR), or aganglionic megacolon, is a developmental disorder characterised by the absence of ganglion cells along variable length of the distal gastrointestinal tract, leading to the most common form of functional intestinal obstruction in neonates and children. Aganglionosis is attributed to a failure of neural crest cells to migrate, proliferate, differentiate or survive during enteric nervous system (ENS) development in the embryonic stage. The incidence of HSCR is estimated at 1/5000 live births and most commonly presents sporadically with reduced penetrance and male predominance, although it can be familial and may be inherited as autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive. In 70% of cases, HSCR occurs as an isolated trait and in the other 30% HSCR is associated with other congenital malformation syndromes. HSCR has a complex genetic etiology with several genes and loci being described as associated with either isolated or syndromic forms. These genes encode for receptors, ligands (especially those participating in the RET and EDNRB signaling transduction pathways), transcriptional factors or other cell elements that are usually involved in the neural crest cell development and migration that give rise to ENS. Nevertheless, the RET proto-oncogene is considered the major disease causing gene in HSCR. A common RET variant within the conserved transcriptional enhancer sequence in intron 1 has been shown to be associated with a great proportion of sporadic cases and could act as a modifier by modulating the penetrance of mutations in other genes and possibly of those mutations in the RET proto-oncogene itself. PMID:23605783

  19. Chromosomal imbalances are uncommon in chagasic megaesophagus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Chagas' disease is a human tropical parasitic illness and a subset of the chronic patients develop megaesophagus or megacolon. The esophagus dilation is known as chagasic megaesophagus (CM) and one of the severe late consequences of CM is the increased risk for esophageal carcinoma (ESCC). Based on the association between CM and ESCC, we investigated whether genes frequently showing unbalanced copy numbers in ESCC were altered in CM by fluorescence in situ (FISH) technology. Methods A total of 50 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded esophageal mucosa specimens (40 from Chagas megaesophagus-CM, and 10 normal esophageal mucosa-NM) were analyzed. DNA FISH probes were tested for FHIT, TP63, PIK3CA, EGFR, FGFR1, MYC, CDKN2A, YES1 and NCOA3 genes, and centromeric sequences from chromosomes 3, 7 and 9. Results No differences between superficial and basal layers of the epithelial mucosa were found, except for loss of copy number of EGFR in the esophageal basal layer of CM group. Mean copy number of CDKN2A and CEP9 and frequency of nuclei with loss of PIK3CA were significantly different in the CM group compared with normal mucosa and marginal levels of deletions in TP63, FHIT, PIK3CA, EGFR, CDKN2A, YES and gains at PIK3CA, TP63, FGFR1, MYC, CDNK2A and NCOA3 were detected in few CM cases, mainly with dilation grades III and IV. All changes occurred at very low levels. Conclusions Genomic imbalances common in esophageal carcinomas are not present in chagasic megaesophagus suggesting that these features will not be effective markers for risk assessment of ESCC in patients with chagasic megaesophagus. PMID:20163722

  20. Severe birth defects in children perinatal exposed to HIV from a “real-world” setting: Infectious Diseases National Institute, Bucharest, Romania

    PubMed Central

    Maria Tudor, Ana

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The shift in epidemic trends in recent years in Romania shows new problems in regard of HIV vertical transmission, firstly in intravenous drug user's mothers co-infected with hepatitis viruses and with social problems, and secondly the children of young mothers with an old HIV infection and long antiretroviral therapy history. Materials and Methods We studied all HIV perinatal exposed children routinely followed up in the Paediatric Department of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, since January 1st 2006 till December 31st 2012. The analyses consisted of describing the birth defects and association with certain risk factors: gender, mother's age at birth and exposure to antiretrovirals in the first trimester of pregnancy. Results We analyzed 244 children born to HIV-infected mothers. The incidence of HIV infection was 16.39%. The rate of birth defects was 39.34% (96/244 cases). The most frequent findings were cardiac malformations (47/96), followed by musculoskeletal defects (24/96), neurologic defects (20/96), urogenital malformations (13/96), digestive tract defects (3/93), metabolic disorders (2/96) and genetic disorders (2/96). We found nine cases of severe congenital anomalies: complex heart defect, total congenital aganglionic megacolon, anal imperforation, Dandy-Walker syndrome, gangliosidosis, Niemann-Pick syndrome, Down syndrome, true hermaphroditism and cleft palate. Two children died during first year of life due to severe malformations. 9% of cases had associated malformations. The gender rate was in favour of males in group with birth defects (58/38) and with no birth defects (82/66). The median age at birth in mothers was 22 years, similar in both groups. The highest mean age at birth was in offspring's mothers with neurologic congenital defects 25, 15 years old, but is not statistically significant (p=0.1). In the studied period the highest number of birth defects were found in 2012, 37 children, compared with less than 15 in previous years (not statistically significant, p=0.07). In our studied patients the risk of birth defects was not statistically associated with HIV transmission or with exposure to antiretrovirals before and in first trimester of pregnancy (p=0.88). Conclusion The rate of birth defects among HIV-exposed children was not significantly associated with antiretroviral exposure, but we identify very rare and severe congenital conditions. We have noticed also a trend to increasing number of birth defects in 2012 among studied patients compared to previous years. PMID:25397447

  1. Clostridium difficile associated infection, diarrhea and colitis

    PubMed Central

    Hookman, Perry; Barkin, Jamie S

    2009-01-01

    A new, hypervirulent strain of Clostridium difficile, called NAP1/BI/027, has been implicated in C. difficile outbreaks associated with increased morbidity and mortality since the early 2000s. The epidemic strain is resistant to fluoroquinolones in vitro, which was infrequent prior to 2001. The name of this strain reflects its characteristics, demonstrated by different typing methods: pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (NAP1), restriction endonuclease analysis (BI) and polymerase chain reaction (027). In 2004 and 2005, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasized that the risk of C. difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is increased, not only by the usual factors, including antibiotic exposure, but also gastrointestinal surgery/manipulation, prolonged length of stay in a healthcare setting, serious underlying illness, immune-compromising conditions, and aging. Patients on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have an elevated risk, as do peripartum women and heart transplant recipients. Before 2002, toxic megacolon in C. difficile-associated colitis (CDAC), was rare, but its incidence has increased dramatically. Up to two-thirds of hospitalized patients may be infected with C. difficile. Asymptomatic carriers admitted to healthcare facilities can transmit the organism to other susceptible patients, thereby becoming vectors. Fulminant colitis is reported more frequently during outbreaks of C. difficile infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). C. difficile infection with IBD carries a higher mortality than without underlying IBD. This article reviews the latest information on C. difficile infection, including presentation, vulnerable hosts and choice of antibiotics, alternative therapies, and probiotics and immunotherapy. We review contact precautions for patients with known or suspected C. difficile-associated disease. Healthcare institutions require accurate and rapid diagnosis for early detection of possible outbreaks, to initiate specific therapy and implement effective control measures. A comprehensive C. difficile infection control management rapid response team (RRT) is recommended for each health care facility. A communication network between RRTs is recommended, in coordination with each country’s department of health. Our aim is to convey a comprehensive source of information and to guide healthcare professionals in the difficult decisions that they face when caring for these oftentimes very ill patients. PMID:19340897