Purpose: Whereas gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are common in children suffering from the so-called post-diarrheal form (D+) of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), more serious gastrointestinal complications are rare. We tried to define factors predictive of the severity of gastrointestinal complications post D+ HUS.
Methods: We reviewed the files of all children admitted to our hospital for D+ HUS between 1988 and 2000. We retained those cases with gastrointestinal complications and analyzed the consequences of these complications on the evolution of the children's conditions.
Results: Sixty-five children with D+ HUS were admitted to our hospital during this period. Sixteen children developed gastrointestinal complications involving one or more digestive organs: necrosis of the colon or ileum, hemorrhagic colitis, pancreatitis, transient diabetes, hepatic cytolysis and cholestasis, peritonitis and prolapse of the rectum. One child died.
Conclusion: Gastrointestinal complications of D+ HUS are rare, but they can be lethal, and early surgery may sometimes prove necessary. However, we were not able to demonstrate a correlation between the severity of the gastrointestinal manifestations and the clinical or biological signs accompanying D+ HUS.