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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 248453, 3 pages
Case Report

Clostridium septicum Sepsis and Colon Carcinoma: Report of 4 Cases

1The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
2Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

Received 1 February 2011; Accepted 13 April 2011

Academic Editor: Gerald S. Supinski

Copyright © 2011 Eric Mao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An association exists between colon carcinoma and Clostridium septicum infection, especially bacteremia. We reviewed retrospectively all positive blood cultures for this organism at a 300-bed general hospital over 4 years. Four of 15 cases were associated with concurrent colon carcinoma. C. septicum infection was the presenting feature of previously undiagnosed large bowel malignancy in three patients. We report this small case series to alert clinicians to the diverse spectrum and diagnostic difficulties of this rare, potentially catastrophic association. Although commonly associated with necrotizing skin or soft tissue infections, this bacterium can present with nonspecific or atypical symptoms. All patients with positive blood cultures for C. septicum, even without clinical suspicion of large bowel malignancy, should undergo colonoscopy to evaluate for colon carcinoma.