Features of hemolysis due to Clostridium perfringens infection

Int J Lab Hematol. 2009 Jun;31(3):364-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-553X.2007.01018.x. Epub 2007 Dec 20.


Infection by Clostridium perfringens can be an unsuspected cause of hemolysis in emergency room patients. Historically, this condition has been associated with wound contamination and other tissue infections. We report the case of an autistic patient who presented to our emergency department with a distended abdomen and hemolysis of unknown etiology. The patient had no history of recent surgery. Exploration of the abdomen revealed a hepatic abscess. Blood cultures tested culture positive for C. perfringens. We present images demonstrating the salient features of the peripheral blood smear in cases of this uncommon but deadly cause of hemolysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Clostridium Infections / blood*
  • Clostridium Infections / pathology*
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Clostridium perfringens*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Hemolysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged