Clostridium septicum foot gangrene associated with colorectal cancer.

  Vol. 43 (2) 2022 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2022; 43(2): 57-64 PubMed PMID:  35490422    Citation

INTRODUCTION: Since the second half of the 20th century, an association between the occurrence of Clostridium septicum and Streptococcus gallolyticus infections in patients with colorectal cancer has been described in specialist literature. Infections are manifested by bacteremia, septic embolism, cellulitis, myonecrosis, and gas gangrene of the limbs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The authors present a case of a rare association between lower limb gangrene caused by the septic embolization of a Clostridium septicum infection and malignancy of colon ascendens in a polymorbid patient. Gangrene of the lower limb led to septic shock requiring acute amputation treatment. After managing the acute condition, the patient was operated on for a malignant colon tumour. DISCUSSION: The process of carcinogenesis often takes years and is almost asymptomatic. The occurrence of S. bovis/S. equinus (SBSEC) and C. septicum bacteremia, respectively, is relatively rare, but their presence is often associated with the occurrence of malignancy, most often of the lower gastrointestinal tract. This paraneoplastic symptom may be the first manifestation of a malignant disease. The effect of exotoxins can lead to sepsis or even septic shock with a mortality of 48-56%. CONCLUSION: Clostridium septicum and Streptococcus gallolyticus infections are rare in clinical practice. However, their presence can be a first paraneoplastic symptom, and therefore the doctor should look for a possible oncological disease when they are detected. The main diagnostic methods include colonoscopy and imaging, especially CT scan.

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