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Mod Pathol. 2002 Jan;15(1):66-70.

Fatal enteritis necroticans (pigbel) in a diabetic adult.

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Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505, USA.


Enteritis necroticans is a segmental necrotizing infection of the jejunum and ileum caused by Clostridium perfringens, Type C. The disease occurs sporadically in parts of Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific, where it primarily affects children with severe protein malnutrition. The disease is extremely rare in developed countries, where it has been seen primarily in diabetics. Two cases have previously been reported in the United States, one in a child with poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes. A 66-year-old woman with a 12-year history of Type 2 diabetes mellitus developed severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea after eating a meal of turkey sausage. She died unattended at home. An autopsy showed peritonitis and segmental necrosis of the jejunum and ileum. Microscopic examination showed Gram-positive club-shaped bacilli consistent with Clostridia coating a necrotic mucosa. Products of cpa and cpb genes of C. perfringens, Type C were identified in the necrotic jejunum by polymerase chain reaction amplification.

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