Autopsy and Case Reports
Autopsy and Case Reports
Article / Clinical Case Report

Emphysematous gastritis due to Sarcina ventriculi infection in a diabetic liver-kidney transplant recipient

Rachel Fanaroff; Eric Goldberg; John C. Papadimitriou; William S. Twaddell; Barry Daly; Cinthia B. Drachenberg

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Emphysematous gastritis (EG) is a rare and potentially lethal process caused by invasive, gas-producing bacteria leading to inflammation and gas dissection of the stomach. The most common etiologic agents are Clostridium infections, but other organisms, including enterobacteria, staphylococcus, and fungi have also been identified. We report the first case of EG due to Sarcina ventriculi in a solid organ transplant recipient, who presented with epigastric pain and vomiting. The patient had a history of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) with recurrent episodes of ketoacidosis and systemic diabetic complications, including severe gastroparesis. CT scan studies demonstrated EG with venous air, and endoscopy showed severe gastritis and ulcerations. In the gastric biopsies, abundant Sarcina ventriculi were noted in areas of mucosal/submucosal necrosis. Antibiotic treatment was instituted at admission, and subsequent endoscopy demonstrated the disappearance of Sarcina, with some improvement of the gastric inflammation; however, the patient developed septic shock with multiorgan failure and expired. This case highlights the need to consider other infectious etiologies in transplant patients, in addition to the well-known opportunistic infections.


Gastroparesis, Clostridium, Renal insufficiency, Graft Rejection, Liver Failure, Cholestasis, Diabetes Mellitus


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