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Streptococcus bovis Septicemia and Carcinoma of the Colon

ROBERT S. KLEIN, M.D.; MICHELA T. CATALANO, M.D.; STEPHEN C. EDBERG, Ph.D.; JOAN I. CASEY, M.D.; and NEAL H. STEIGBIGEL, M.D.
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A preliminary report of this study was presented at the Eighteenth Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Atlanta, Georgia, 3 October 1978.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert S. Klein, M.D.; Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, 111 East 210th Street; Bronx, NY 10467.


Bronx, New York


© 1979 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(4):560-562. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-4-560
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We prospectively studied patients with Streptococcus bovis septicemia for the presence of gastrointestinal lesions. This study was prompted by our reported findings of the association of fecal carriage of S. bovis with carcinoma of the colon. We studied 29 patients with 30 episodes of S. bovis septicemia. Fifteen completed gastrointestinal evaluations that included colonoscopy, surgery, or autopsy. Eight of these had carcinoma of the colon, three had adenomatous polyps of the colon without carcinoma, and two had carcinoma of the esophagus. The 14 patients who did not have complete evaluations included one each with carcinoma of the stomach, gastric lymphoma, and adenomatous polyp of the colon and three with colonic masses not further delineated. Nineteen patients had no gastrointestinal signs or symptoms or stools positive for occult blood at admission. The results of our study suggest that all patients with S. bovis septicemia need aggressive evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract, especially the colon.

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