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Medicaltalks over 5 years ago
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That colon cannot get any bigger!!! Toxic megacolon is a lethal clinical complication and denotes an acute toxic colitis with dilatation of the colon. The classic and useful hallmarks are nonobstructive colonic dilatation larger than 6 cm and signs of systemic toxicity. A congenial megacolon is called Hirschsprung's disease, in which nerve cells of the myenteric plexus are absent, it typically affects babies, and therefore isn't the case here. On the other hand, a toxic megacolon is a life-threatening complication that occurs in association with a severe attack of inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or an infection with Clostridium difficile. It is characterized by swelling and dilation of the large intestine due to inflammation and accumulation of excessive amounts of gas. Further complications like septic shock, hemorrhage and peritonitis rarely occur. The goal of the treatment is to decompress the bowel and to prevent swallowed air from further distending the bowel. A colectomy (surgical resection of all of part of the colon) is usually indicated if the megacolon worsens.

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