Medline ® Abstract for Reference 58
of 'Clostridium difficile in adults: Treatment'
Decompressive colonoscopy with intracolonic vancomycin administration for the treatment of severe pseudomembranous colitis.
Shetler K, Nieuwenhuis R, Wren SM, Triadafilopoulos G
Surg Endosc. 2001;15(7):653. Epub 2001 May 7.
BACKGROUND: We explored the potential of early decompressive colonoscopy with intracolonic vancomycin administration as an adjunctive therapy for severe pseudomembranous Clostridium difficile colitis with ileus and toxic megacolon.
METHODS: We reviewed the symptoms, signs, laboratory tests, radiographic findings, and outcomes from the medical records of seven patients who experienced eight episodes of severe pseudomembranous colitis with ileus and toxic megacolon. All seven patients underwent decompressive colonoscopy with intracolonic perfusion of vancomycin.
RESULTS: Fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal distention, and tenderness were present in all patients. Five of seven patients were comatose, obtunded, or confused, and six of the seven required ventilatory support. The white blood cell count was greater than 16,000 in seven cases (six patients). Colonoscopy showed left-side pseudomembranous colitis in one patient, right-side colitis in one patient, and diffuse pseudomembranous pancolitis in five patients. Two patients were discharged with improvement. Five patients had numerous medical problems leading to their death. Complete resolution of pseudomembranous colitis occurred in four patients. One patient had a partial response, and two patients failed therapy.
CONCLUSION: Colonoscopic decompression and intracolonic vancomycin administration in the management of severe, acute, pseudomembranous colitis associated with ileus and toxic megacolon is feasible, safe, and effective in approximately 57% to 71% of cases.
Sections of Gastroenterology and Gastroenterology Division, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.