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Pediatr Radiol. 1995 Nov;25 Suppl 1:S157-9.

Pseudomembranous colitis: CT findings in children.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


A spectrum of nodular haustral thickening and an accordion pattern have been reported as specific features of pseudomembranous colitis (PMC) in adults. A retrospective review of nine patients with PMC was performed to assess whether this spectrum of CT findings also occurred in children. In four girls and five boys, CT scans were performed within 3 days of a positive stool toxin assay for Clostridium difficile. Documented CT abnormalities included nodular haustral thickening, the accordion pattern, colonic wall thickening, ascites, and pericolonic edema. These results were then correlated as to their impact on the clinical outcome. Circumferential colon wall thickening was identified in 7/9 (78 %) patients (mean thickening 14.5 mm). Nodular haustral thickening was identified in 4/9 (44 %) and the accordion pattern in 2/9 (22 %). Other findings included pericolonic edema in 3/9 (33 %) and ascites in 1/9 (11 %). Wall thickening was confined to the left colon and rectum in 2/9 (22 %), to the right colon in 2/9 (22 %), and involved the whole colon in 3/9 (33 %). Although CT findings associated with PMC in children may be suggestive for this diagnosis, CT is less specific than laboratory and clinical findings.

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