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Case report
Campylobacter colitis leads to toxic megacolon and multiple organ failure
  1. Clair Louise Taylor Clark1 and
  2. Elspeth Victoria Murray2,3
  1. 1Department of Anaesthetics, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, UK
  2. 2Department of General Surgery, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, UK
  3. 3Department of Orthopaedics, NHS Glasgow and Clyde South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Clair Louise Taylor Clark; clairlougee{at}


A 58-year-old woman presented to the emergency department in a district general hospital with severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea, after collapsing at home. She was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in septic shock, and with acute kidney injury. An initial CT scan was suggestive of colitis. She was treated for suspected gastroenteritis and her microbiology results showed Campylobacter coli as the causative organism. She failed to respond to antibiotics, and underwent serial contrast CTs which showed no progression of colitis. Colonoscopy performed on day 10 of her admission, however, revealed fulminant colitis. After a multidisciplinary meeting among gastroenterologists, general surgeons and intensivists, the patient underwent total colectomy with ileostomy. She made a slow but steady recovery in ICU, and subsequently in the ward, and was discharged to a local community hospital for further rehabilitation.

  • infection (gastroenterology)
  • hepatitis and other GI infections
  • adult intensive care
  • gastrointestinal surgery
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  • Contributors CLTC and EVM jointly undertook the planning and conception of this case report. Acquisition of patient data from notes was performed by EVM whilst CLTC conducted the background research and discussion points. Writing, editing and proof reading was performed by both authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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