Factors associated with intestinal perforation in children's non-typhi Salmonella toxic megacolon

Hsun Chin Chao, Cheng Hsun Chiu, Man Shan Kong, Luan Yin Chang, Yhu Chering Huang, Tzou Yien Lin, Chih Chen Lou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background. To evaluate the risk factors for intestinal perforation in children with toxic megacolon caused by non-typhi Salmonella infection. Methods. During an 11-year period we reviewed the records of children treated for non-typhi Salmonella infection. All of the subjects had positive stool culture for non-typhi Salmonella and were treated with intravenous ceftriaxone during hospitalization. Clinical data reviewed included demographic features, clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, radiologic findings, microbiology, therapeutic effect of hydration and rectal tube placement and the operative findings. Patients with toxic megacolon were defined as those having toxic appearance, diarrhea, high fever (>39°C) and marked colon dilatation with maximal diameter >1.5 times the width of the vertebra body of the first lumbar spine (L1-VB). To define the risk factors for patients with toxic megacolon complicated by intestinal perforation, patients were divided into two groups for analysis: P group, those complicated with intestinal perforation; and NP group, those without intestinal perforation. Differences in age, sex, severity of diarrhea, duration of fever, hemogram and its differential, culture, stool analysis, serum C-reactive protein (CRP), electrolytes, maximal colon diameter, medical therapy and timing of rectal tube insertion between the two groups were analyzed. Statistical analyses were conducted with chi square tests and multiple logistic regression. Results. A total of 75 patients (P group, 27 patients; NP group, 48 patients) ages 4 months to 6 years were evaluated. With chi square analysis 7 variables were found to be significantly associated with intestinal perforation: age >1 year; fever >5 days; ratio of immature to total neutrophils >20%; serum CRP >200 mg/l; colon diameter >2.5 times the width of L1-VB; inadequate early hydration; and delay in rectal tube insertion. With multivariate analysis age >1 year, serum CRP >200 mg/l and colon diameter >2.5 times of width of L1-VB, inadequate early hydration and delay in rectal tube insertion were the most significant factors associated with intestinal perforation. Conclusion. Identification of patients with toxic megacolon associated with non-typhi Salmonella infection at risk for further intestinal perforation is possible. Early effective fluid resuscitation and rectal tube insertion may be helpful to prevent the occurrence of intestinal perforation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1158-1162
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Intestinal perforation
  • Non-typhi Salmonella
  • Toxic megacolon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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