Shigellosis Workup

Updated: Jun 17, 2019
  • Author: Joyann A Kroser, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies generally reveal the following findings:

  • Fecal leukocytes and erythrocytes

  • Mildly elevated hematocrit, sodium, and urea nitrogen levels 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, infected with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]), blood cultures are rarely helpful in cases of shigellosis.

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Procedures

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 of shigellosis include the following:

  • Intense neutrophilic and mononuclear cells infiltrating the lamina propria

  • Hemorrhage

  • Ulcers

  • Mucous depletion

  • Occasional crypt abscesses

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