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Gastroenteritis in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Gastroenteritis in Adult

Contributors: Michael W. Winter MD, Christine Osborne MD, Desiree Rivera-Nieves MD, Khaled Bittar MD, Nishant H. Patel MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Gastroenteritis is defined as an acute illness characterized by nausea, emesis, and diarrhea, and associated with malaise, fevers, and anorexia. Gastroenteritis is infectious, with the majority of cases caused by viruses (see viral gastroenteritis). However, particular bacteria (eg, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, Listeria, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, and Clostridioides difficile) can cause gastroenteritis as well.

Many cases of gastroenteritis are self-limited to 24-48 hours of illness. Onset with nausea and emesis resolve with an improving diarrhea. It can be difficult to differentiate between bacterial and viral etiologies. More typically, bacterial causes will be associated with bloody diarrhea and high fevers, although certain viral agents can also present with these symptoms.

Patients of all demographics are susceptible to gastroenteritis, and many infectious causes spread via fecal-oral transmission. Recent travel, contact with infected individuals, food exposure, and recent antibiotic consumption can be important information in delineating a patient's risk of particular bacterial or viral causes of gastroenteritis. Immunocompromised patients are also at increased risk of acquiring gastroenteritis and may be subject to more serious infections, as their immune clearance is impaired.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A09 – Infectious gastroenteritis and colitis, unspecified
K52.89 – Other specified noninfective gastroenteritis and colitis

SNOMEDCT:
25374005 – Gastroenteritis

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

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Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

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References

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Last Reviewed:12/18/2016
Last Updated:10/17/2022
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Gastroenteritis in Adult
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