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Clinical Features and Investigations of Acute Diarrhea

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Features and Investigations of Acute Diarrhea. So, let’s get started.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Watery stools
  • Blood in the stool (hematochezia)
  • Excessive thirst

Signs of dehydration may be present

  • Patient irritable
  • Weak pulse, low BP
  • Depressed fontanelle
  • Dry pinched facies
  • Sunken eyeballs
  • Dryness of mouth, tongue, mucous membrane
  • Loss of skin turgor

Investigations

  • Stool examination for leukocytes, ova, parasites, blood and pus cells, etc
  • Stool for fecal lactiferin: It is a sensitive marker of fecal leukocytes, indicates inflammatory diarrhea. It is estimated by ELISA and latex agglutination test
  • Stool immunoassay for bacterial toxins (c.difficile), viral antigen (rota virus) and protozoal antigens (Giardia, E.histolytica)
  • Stool culture for isolation of the infective agent, i.e. enterohemorrhagic and other types of E.coli, Vibrio species and Versinia
  • Complete hemogram
  • Blood biochemistry, e.g. urea, creatinine, electrolytes
  • Blood culture
  • Sigmoidoscopy with biopsies and upper endoscopy with duodenal aspirates and biopsy if indicated
  • Abdominal X-ray or CT scan
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