Clostridium difficile colitis is increasingly seen in everyday clinical situations, and most cases are treated with antibiotics. Fulminant C. difficile colitis (FCDC) is rare; however, it is extremely virulent, and understanding its appropriate surgical treatment is critical. The surgical timing is controversial because of the lack of concrete decision-making factors. We report a case of FCDC with a favourable outcome, which was achieved by using four objective factors and computed tomography (CT) findings.
A patient with head trauma developed pneumonia at 2 days post-admission. He was prescribed with antibiotics. Fever and leucocytosis persisted on hospital day 10. Clostridium was detected in the stool on day 12, and metronidazole was administered. His condition did not improve; thus, he was started on vancomycin on day 14. The marked deterioration in the four laboratory parameters (white blood cell, albumin [Alb], creatinine, and body temperature) on day 15 and CT findings contributed to the decision to perform emergency subtotal colectomy and ileostomy. His condition improved dramatically postoperatively.
Many factors of FCDC are already suggested for surgical intervention in the guidelines; however, they are often seen at the late stage of FCDC. Early detection of FCDC is the key to favourable surgical outcome. Following the trend of these objective factors guides in making appropriate surgical decisions.
Focusing on the four objective factors and CT findings of FCDC could help surgeons detect FCDC at an early stage and decide the optimal surgical timing.