Pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon due to C. difficile in an inpatient hospitalized for home accident

Piergiorgio Chiriacò



Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the main cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea. It can result in symptoms ranging from moderate diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis. Among the risk factors, there is antibiotic therapy, responsible for intestinal flora disruption.

A 72-year-old man presented to the Emergency Room for a home accident, a fall, that resulted in a cranio-facial trauma and tibio-tarsal fracture. He was administered cefazolin. Then he underwent surgery and the antibiotic therapy was switched to teicoplanin + levofloxacin; three days after, he started having diarrhea and mild fever. Rifaximin was added. A further exacerbation prompted the replacement of antibiotic therapy with tazobactam-piperacillin and metronidazole. Owing to the detection in fecal examination of CDI signs, tazobactam-piperacillin were replaced with vancomicin. Due to the persistence of symptoms, the worsening of physical conditions and the onset of pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon, fidaxomicin therapy was started, with symptom resolution in few days. A patient’s follow-up at five months post-treatment showed no CDI recurrence.


Pseudomembranous colitis; Toxic megacolon; Clostridium difficile; Trauma; Fidaxomicin

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