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Am J Surg. 1990 Nov;160(5):535-9.

Role of surgery in antibiotic-induced pseudomembranous enterocolitis.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ohio.


With the increased use of prophylactic and broad-spectrum antibiotics, pseudomembranous colitis has emerged as a significant clinical problem. Management with specific anti-Clostridium difficile therapy (vancomycin or metronidazole) has reduced mortality to less than 2%. Nevertheless, the disease may progress to a fulminant toxic colitis or colonic perforation. Additionally, another subset of patients will present with a dramatic clinical picture, suggesting acute peritonitis, eventuating in unnecessary laparotomy. This report reviews both the medical and surgical literature during the past 15 years of patients treated for pseudomembranous colitis. Analysis of this clinical data has provided us with the opportunity to both define the role of surgery in this disorder and illustrate the necessity for a combined medical and surgical cooperative approach in the early management of this iatrogenic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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