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March 1978

Anaerobic Septicemia After Transrectal Prostatic Biopsy

Author Affiliations

From the Infectious Disease Section, Medical Service (Drs Harris, Jackson, and Alford), and the Urology Service (Dr Breslin), Veterans Administration Hospital, and Departments of Medicine (Drs Harris, Jackson, and Alford) and Urological Surgery (Dr Breslin), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville.

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(3):393-395. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630270039016

Transrectal biopsy of the prostate resulted in anaerobic septicemia in two patients, despite parenteral gentamicin sulfate prophylaxis. Bacteroides fragilis sepsis developed subacutely in one patient having a postbiopsy pelvic abscess. Clostridium perfringens sepsis occurred fulminantly in another patient 24 hours after biopsy of a gland extensively involved with adenocarcinoma. These cases indicate a potential hazard of sepsis due to anaerobic contamination with rectal microflora at the time of transrectal prostatic biopsy and the futility of prophylaxis directed only at aerobic bacteria.

(Arch Intern Med 138:393-395, 1978)