[A fatal case of shigellosis in an elderly patient].
ABSTRACT A 71 year-old male, with no recent history of travelling abroad and a past history of lung cancer two years prior to presentation, which had been successfully treated, developed a sudden onset of watery diarrhea more than ten times a day on February 26, 2001, which gradually became bloody. The next day he visited the Department of Integrated Medicine of the Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital by ambulance because his consciousness was deteriorating and he was hospitalized. He was hypotensive on admission, and a dopamine preparation was used throughout. The peripheral WBC was 3,800/microliter and the lymphocyte count was 76/microliter which thus suggested the presence of cellular immune suppression. HIV was not tested. He died seven hours after admission. His stool culture yielded a growth of Shigella flexneri 2a, and a blood culture on admission was sterile. No verocyte toxin-producing Esherichia coli was not detected. The causes of death in cases with shigellosis have been reported in the literature to be an electrolyte imbalance, septicemia and disseminated intravasucular coagulation (DIC) in developed countries. Our present case was considered to be a debilitated patient complicated with hemolytic uremic syndrome due to an infection with Shigella bacteria which resulted in death despite performing intensive treatments.