Infectious colitis (E. coli 0157:H7)
35 year old male with two day history of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and tenesmus. 24 hour history of hematochezia.
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Axial and coronal CT images following intravenous and oral contrast administration show diffuse colonic wall thickening with mucosal enhancement involving the caecum, ascending colon, transverse colon and proximal descending colon. Hyperaemia can be appreciated with prominence of the pericolonic mesenteric. Mild pericolic fat stranding is present. Faecal sample obtained for culture was positive for E. coli (0157:H7).
E. coli (0157:H7) colitis has a predilection for involvement of the transverse colon and both ascending/descending colon with right sided predominance. The location of bowel involvement may give clues to the type of infectious colitides.
Typhoid fever (salmonellosis) has a predilection for involving the cecum, ascending colon and invariably in ileum. Shigellosis predominantly affect the descending colon. Campylobacteriosis affect the small bowel and colon.
Clinical history will often provide clue to the underlying aetiology. Non-infectious cause of colitis to be considered include inflammatory bowel disease in adults, ischaemic colitis in the elderly and pseudomembraneous colitis.