Tests and procedures used to diagnose pseudomembranous colitis and to search for complications include:
- Stool sample. There are a number of different stool sample tests used to detect C. difficile infection of the colon.
- Blood tests. These may reveal an abnormally high white blood cell count (leukocytosis), which may indicate pseudomembranous colitis.
- Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. In both of these tests, your doctor uses a tube with a miniature camera at its tip to examine the inside of your colon for signs of pseudomembranous colitis — raised, yellow plaques (lesions), as well as swelling.
- Imaging tests. If you have severe symptoms, your doctor may obtain an abdominal X-ray or an abdominal CT scan to look for complications such as toxic megacolon or colon rupture.
Aug. 19, 2017
- Feldman M, et al. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infection. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2015.
- Clostridium difficile-induced diarrhea. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/anaerobic-bacteria/i-clostridium-difficile-i-induced-diarrhea. Accessed Oct. 8, 2015.
- Lamont JT. Clostridium difficile infection in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 5, 2015.
- Leffler DA, et al. Clostridium difficile infection. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;372:1539.
- Ferri FF. Clostridium difficile Infection. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Lamont JT. Clostridium difficile in adults: Epidemiology, microbiology, and pathophysiology. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 5, 2015.
- Chraka CNA, et al. Risk factors for recurrence, complications and mortality in Clostridium difficile infection: A systematic review. PLOS One. 2014; 9: e98400.
- Bagdasarian N, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of Clostridium difficile in adults: A systematic review. JAMA. 2015;313:398.
- Allen SJ. The potential of probiotics to prevent Clostridium difficile infection. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2015;29:135.
- Davidson LE, et al. Clostridium difficile and probiotics. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 5, 2015.
- Soriano MM, et al. Treatment of Clostridium difficile infections. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2015;29:93.
- Rao K, et al. Fecal microbiota transplantation for the management of Clostridium difficile infection. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2015;29:109.
- Kelly CP, et al. Clostridium difficile in adults: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 5, 2015.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 5, 2014.