Background: Gastro-intestinal manifestations are relatively frequent during the course of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), some of them requiring special supportive care. This work was aimed at retrospectively studing gastrointestinal manifestations of HUS and determining their place in the prognosis.
Patients: Thirty-seven children aged 4 months to 11 years (22 girls and 15 boys) were included in the study.
Results: All children but one had gastrointestinal prodromes. During the course of HUS, various manifestations were seen: bloody diarrhea in 32% of patients, ileo-ileal intussusception in 3%, rectal prolapse in 8% and hepatic cytolysis in 38%. Seven patients with bloody diarrhea had a complicated course, lethal in one. Comparison between these seven children and the 30 others revealed some indicators of severe gut involvement: female sex, short duration of gastrointestinal prodromes, hemorrhagic colitis with rectal prolapse, high WBC count, high neutrophils count and less important degree of anemia at admission. Severity of the gastrointestinal lesions was correlated with that of the outcome of the renal disease.
Conclusion: Gastrointestinal tract is frequently affected in HUS and severe complications can appear, potentially leading to death. Total parenteral nutrition could prevent occurrence of gastrointestinal complications. Severe gastrointestinal lesions are associated with a poor renal outcome.