PMID: 8547977Nov 1, 1995Paper

A rare cause of severe diarrhea in children: pseudomembranous colitis

Archives de pédiatrie : organe officiel de la Sociéte française de pédiatrie
C RadetJ M Limal


Pseudomembranous colitis is a rare and serious complication of treatment by antibiotics. The case of a patient with a protracted pseudomembranous colitis followed by two relapses is reported. A 4 year-old boy was admitted after 18 days of profuse and feverish diarrhea. He had been given amoxycillin for 10 days, one and a half months previously. His temperature was 40 degrees C; he had abdominal pain and leucocytosis was 30,000/mm3. The situation rapidly improved with digestive rest and i.v. antibiotic therapy. Relapse of diarrhea together with bilious vomiting and acute abdominal pains required readmission three days after his discharge. Search for Clostridium difficile in stools remained negative. The diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis was confirmed by sigmoidoscopy and intestinal biopsy. The patient was given parenteral nutrition for 3 weeks and vancomycin. The disease was complicated by anasarca related to severe protein-loosing enteropathy but evolution was finally favourable after a two month period. Pseudomembranous colitis remains a serious affection in childhood; its prognosis largely depends on the precocity of diagnosis and treatment.

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