Shigellosis Workup

Updated: Jun 22, 2016
  • Author: Joyann A Kroser, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • Fecal leukocytes and erythrocytes
  • Mildly elevated hematocrit, sodium, and urea nitrogen are indicative of volume depletion in cases of shigellosis.
  • Leukocytosis is rare.
  • Positive findings on stool culture of a fresh fecal specimen
  • In patients who are immunocompromised (eg, HIV), blood cultures are rarely helpful in cases of shigellosis.


See the list below:

  • Sigmoidoscopy is not necessary in most cases of shigellosis.
  • If distinguishing between dysentery and the acute presentation of idiopathic ulcerative colitis is urgently necessary, a colonic biopsy may be useful if it is performed within 4 days of the onset of symptoms.

Histologic Findings

See the list below:

  • Intense neutrophilic and mononuclear cells infiltrating the lamina propria
  • Hemorrhage
  • Ulcers
  • Mucous depletion
  • Occasional crypt abscesses