Lege Artis Medicinae

[DIARRHOEA AND PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS COLITIS ASSOCIATED WITH ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT]

LAKATOS László, LAKATOS Péter László

JULY 20, 2006

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2006;16(07)

[Antibiotic treatment is complicated by diarrhea in 5 to 25% of the cases. Its prevalence depends on the antibiotic used, the patient’s age, the concomittant diseases and the immune response. The severity of the diarrhoea is variable ranging from a mild self-limiting disease lasting for 1 or 2 days to a severe condition with high mortality. The diarrhea may result from a direct effect on the gut, but more commonly it is the consequence of changes in resident gut flora. Clostridium difficile is responsible for 10 to 20% of all antibiotic-associated diarrhea cases. The clinical presentation varies from asymptomatic carriage to fulminant pseudomembranous colitis. This latter typically develops as a nosocomial infection, mainly in patients treated with cephalosporins, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid combination or clindamycin. Risk factors are advanced age, severe underlying disease, treatment in an intensive care unit, long hospitalization and invasive medical procedures. The clinical picture is characterized by frequent, watery (occasionally bloody) diarrhea, abdominal pain, tenesmus, fever, weakness. Fulminant colitis develops in 3-5% of cases. The diagnosis is based on testing for C. difficile toxins, but in selected cases rapid diagnosis can be made by flexible sigmoidoscopy. The treatment consists of the withdrawal of the implicated antibiotic along with administration of oral metronidazole or vancomycin which target C. difficile itself. Most patients respond to this treatment; however, the mortality of fulminant cases or those with severe underlying disease is high. Fifteen to 20% of the patients relapse and management of the recurrent cases is difficult. Combination treatment, probiotics and/or passive immunization may be used. Preventive measures include judicious use of antibiotics and aggressive control of the spread of C. difficile infection.]

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[Over the past decade, the use of noninvasive ventilation in the setting of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has gained popularity, and is recommended by evidence-based guidelines. The evidence that it should be effective in chronic COPD is much weaker, and large, prospective, randomised, controlled studies that would also provide a guide for the selection of the best candidates, are still lacking. It has bee established, however, that home mechanical ventilation is certainly beneficial for a well-defined subgroup of patients. This includes the so called “blue bloater” patients (with hypercapnia and polyglobulia), other cases with increased hypercapnia, and patients with "overlapping" syndrome (COPD accompanied by sleep apnoe). Also, for patients with acute respiratory failure who refuse intratracheal intubation noninvasive mechanical ventilation remains the only choice. The past years have unequivocally proved the superiority of the positive pressure ventilation mode for either short term or long term use.]

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CSERNI Gábor, BORI Rita, BOROSS Gábor, FRANK Emil, LÓRÁND Katalin, SERÉNYI Péter, LENGYEL Mária, KOVÁCS Károly, HALÁSZ Mátyás

[INTRODUCTION - The mortality of lung cancer is high, but with early diagnosis the disease can often be cured. The differential diagnosis of pulmonary carcinoma is widely diverse. CASE REPORT - In a 53-year-old male patient, who had been successfully treated for pneumonia complicated with thoracic empyema, both a CT scan and bronchoscopy raised the suspicion of a malignant tumour. Brush cytology was inconclusive; it raised the possibility of malignancy but was not felt diagnostic of a malignant process, whereas biopsy revealed only inflammatory changes. After right lower lobectomy, actinomycosis was diagnosed by histology. This case is used in the paper as an opportunity to discuss the pseudotumorous presentation of thoracic actinomycosis. CONCLUSION - Pulmonary and thoracic actinomycosis is rare, but due to its ability to simulate tumours, it is an important disease to consider in the differential diagnosis of lung cancer.]

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