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Infectious Colitis 

Infectious Colitis
Infectious Colitis
Infectious Diseases Emergencies

David Scordino


Infectious colitis is diarrhea with evidence of colonic inflammation by visualization (colonoscopy), history (blood or mucus in the stool), or laboratory evidence (high lactoferrin). Infectious colitis is associated with direct bacterial or indirect bacterial toxin invasion of the colonic mucosa, leading to toxicity, volume loss, hemorrhage, and colonic inflammation. The most important treatment is adequate hydration, but treatment also may include loperamide (useful in patients without fever or bloody stools) and antibiotics in individuals with evidence of colitis (although not for mild to moderate diarrhea without colitis). In any individual with diarrhea, address recent travel history, possible immunosuppression, the presence of blood or mucus in the stool, and any history of vomiting or severe abdominal pain. Therapy should be focused on maintaining adequate hydration and not missing potentially dangerous etiologies. Intravenous hydration can be used for those with moderate to severe dehydration with supplemental oral hydration solutions if discharge is possible.

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