Exposure to certain heavy metals can result in an enterocolitis.
Heavy metals associated with enterocolitis:
(1) gold (usually as gold salts used in rheumatology)
Sources of exposure:
(4) homicidal or suicidal
Mechanisms that may be involved:
(1) direct toxic effect on the enterocytes
(2) hypersensitivity reaction
(1) abdominal pain
(2) nausea and vomiting
(5) variable skin rash
(1) variable eosinophilia
(2) presence of the causative heavy metal
Findings at endoscopy may include:
(1) pseudomembranous enterocolitis
(2) mucosal ulcerations
(3) petechial hemorrhages
(4) toxic megacolon
The diagnosis is usually not considered unless the exposure history is known or other causes of enterocolitis have been excluded.
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Specialty: Gastroenterology, Toxicology