Clostridial septicemia is a rapidly progressive and often fatal infection that is being recognized with increased frequency in relationship to neoplastic disease.1 Since children with acute leukemia are unusually susceptible to infection with uncommon or opportunistic pathogens, the presence of fever with signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities in these children should signal prompt consideration of this infection. This report on a child with acute lymphocytic leukemia illustrates the rapidly fatal progression of septicemia with Clostridium perfringens.
Report of a Case.—This 5-year-old boy had been diagnosed as having acute lymphocytic leukemia two years ago. Two weeks prior to admission, he was found to be in hematologic relapse. He was treated with oral prednisone daily and received intravenous vincristine sulfate and daunorubicin hydrochloride once, and there was some hematologic improvement. Three days prior to admission, persistent epistaxis developed and the next day a low-grade fever was noted. There
SHARPE MR, BENTLEY HP, BLACKBURN W. Clostridium perfringens Septicemia in Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(1):101–102. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130010107028
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