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June 1955

Experimental Pseudomembranous Enterocolitis: Production by Means of Thrombosis of Intestinal Mucosal Capillaries

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army

From the Departments of Pathology and Surgery, 7071st ASU, U. S. Army Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Va.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(6):779-787. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250120015002

During the course of some animal experiments designed to elucidate the functional and pathologic effects of incompatible blood transfusion, it was observed that under certain experimental conditions the syndrome of pseudomembranous enterocolitis occurred. In considering these experiments it was noted that there was a striking similarity between the cases described in the literature and the syndrome produced in the dog. For the purpose of comparison with the animal experiments a brief résumé of the essential features of the human cases will be presented first.

Clinically, the disease is manifest by the sudden appearance of irreversible shock, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody or tarry stools), cramping abdominal pain with distention, passage of membranous shreds per rectum, fever, oliguria, neurological symptoms, and severe loss of fluid and plasma protein, with death usually in a few hours.* Uremia often develops in patients who survive the initial period of shock, while some patients

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