Post-esophagectomy pseudomembranous inflammation of the interposed colon

Faisal Al-Mufarrej, Marc Margolis, Barbara Tempesta, Eric Strother, Farid Gharagozloo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pseudomembranous colitis (PMC) usually is caused by antibiotic-related changes in colonic anaerobic microflora, leading to Clostridium difficile overgrowth and overproduction of toxins. We present the first reported case of PMC affecting the intrathoracic, interposed colon of an esophagectomy patient in the absence of inflammation of the in situ colon. Methods: Case report and review of pertinent English-language literature. Case report: A 47 year-old male developed Clostridium difficile-related colitis after in Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy for carcinoma of the esophagus, and rendered asymptomatic after 10 days of therapy with oral vancomycin. Postoperatively, the patient developed a broncho-esophageal fistula, and was reconstructed with a two-stage colonic esophageal colonic interposition three months after the fistula was closed surgically. On postoperative day nine, the patient developed symptomatic PMC of the interposed colon segment, whereas the in situ colon was spared. Therapy with oral vancomycin for three weeks eradicated the infection. Conclusions: Pseudomembranous colitismay develop in the interposed colon after a esophageal colonic interposition, even absent inflammation of the in situ colon. Previous infection with C. difficile may have increased the risk in this patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-481
Number of pages3
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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