Psychiatric symptoms in patients with shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104:H4 induced haemolytic-uraemic syndrome

  • A. K
  • S. T
  • C.K. E
  • et al.
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BACKGROUND: In May 2011 an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (STEC) O104:H4 in Northern Germany led to a high number of in-patients, suffering from post-enteritis haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS) and often severe affection of the central nervous system. To our knowledge so far only neurological manifestations have been described systematically in literature., AIM: To examine psychiatric symptoms over time and search for specific symptom clusters in affected patients., METHODS: 31 in-patients suffering from E. coli O104:H4 associated HUS, were examined and followed up a week during the acute hospital stay. Psychopathology was assessed by clinical interview based on the AMDP Scale, the Brief Symptom Inventory and the Clinical Global Impressions Scale., RESULTS: At baseline mental disorder due to known physiological condition (ICD-10 F06.8) was present in 58% of the examined patients. Patients suffered from various manifestations of cognitive impairment (n = 27) and hallucinations (n = 4). Disturbances of affect (n = 28) included severe panic attacks (n = 9). Psychiatric disorder was significantly associated with higher age (p<0.0001), higher levels of C-reactive protein (p<0.05), and positive family history of heart disease (p<0.05). Even within the acute hospital stay with a median follow up of 7 days, symptoms improved markedly over time (p <0.0001)., CONCLUSIONS: Aside from severe neurological symptoms the pathology in E.coli O104:H4 associated HUS frequently includes particular psychiatric disturbances. Long term follow up has to clarify whether or not these symptoms subside.




A., K., S., T., C.K., E., J.T., K., S., B., H., F., & M., S. (2014). Psychiatric symptoms in patients with shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104:H4 induced haemolytic-uraemic syndrome. PLoS ONE, 9(7).

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