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Acute gastroenteritis: the need to remember alternative diagnoses.
  1. J. M. Felton,
  2. A. D. Harries,
  3. N. J. Beeching,
  4. S. J. Rogerson,
  5. F. J. Nye
  1. Regional Infectious Disease Unit, Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool, UK.


    Five hundred and ninety-four patients were consecutively admitted to an infectious disease unit over a 2-year period with a referral diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis or food poisoning. In 175 (29%) patients, gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with a condition other than gastrointestinal infection. Non-infective gastrointestinal disease was present in 90 patients, systemic infection in 50 and systemic disease in 35. Four illustrative case histories are presented to emphasize the need for a high index of suspicion if diseases such as malaria, septicaemia or appendicitis are not to be missed.

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