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Toxic megacolon complicating chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia.
  1. M. A. Wodziński,
  2. J. A. Snowden,
  3. J. T. Reilly
  1. Department of Haematology, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


    A 43 year old woman in remission from acute myeloid leukaemia developed abdominal pain, severe melaena, diarrhoea and gram-negative septicaemia whilst severely pancytopenic following consolidation chemotherapy. Subsequently, serial abdominal X-rays showed a progressive toxic megacolon. Conservative management was attempted but, because of radiological evidence of increasing colonic dilatation and incipient perforation, an emergency defunctioning colostomy was performed. The patient recovered and 2 months later the caecostomy was reversed and a right hemicolectomy performed. This first described case of toxic megacolon following leukaemia treatment is compared with three previously described cases following cytotoxic chemotherapy for other conditions.

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