Amoebiasis differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yazan Daaboul, M.D.; Serge Korjian M.D.


Amoebiasis must be differentiated from other causes of abdominal pain, bloating, acute or chronic diarrhea, and weight loss, such as other infectious causes of gastroenteritis, including bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic pathogens, in addition to non-infectious causes, including acute pancreatitis, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, drug reaction, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, Whipple disease, tropical sprue, and lymphoma.

Differentiating Amoebiasis from other Diseases

  • Amoebiasis must be differentiated from other causes of acute or chronic diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and fever (less common).
  • Differential diagnosis of amoebiasis includes the following:

Infectious Differential Diagnoses

Non-infectious Differential Diagnoses

The following are the non-infectious differential diagnoses of E. coli enteritis:

To view a comprehensive list of abdominal pain differential diagnoses, click here.
To view a comprehensive list of diarrhea differential diagnoses, click here.

The table below summarizes the findings that differentiate inflammatory causes of chronic diarrhea[1][2][3][4][4]

Cause History Laboratory findings Diagnosis Treatment
Diverticulitis Abdominal CT scan with oral and intravenous (IV) contrast bowel rest, IV fluid resuscitation, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy which covers anaerobic bacteria and gram-negative rods
Ulcerative colitis Endoscopy Induction of remission with mesalamine and corticosteroids followed by the administration of sulfasalazine and 6-Mercaptopurine depending on the severity of the disease.
Entamoeba histolytica cysts shed with the stool detects ameba DNA in feces Amebic dysentery

Luminal amebicides for E. histolytica in the colon:

For amebic liver abscess:


  1. Konvolinka CW (1994). "Acute diverticulitis under age forty". Am J Surg. 167 (6): 562–5. PMID 8209928.
  2. Silverberg MS, Satsangi J, Ahmad T, Arnott ID, Bernstein CN, Brant SR; et al. (2005). "Toward an integrated clinical, molecular and serological classification of inflammatory bowel disease: report of a Working Party of the 2005 Montreal World Congress of Gastroenterology". Can J Gastroenterol. 19 Suppl A: 5A–36A. PMID 16151544.
  3. Satsangi J, Silverberg MS, Vermeire S, Colombel JF (2006). "The Montreal classification of inflammatory bowel disease: controversies, consensus, and implications". Gut. 55 (6): 749–53. doi:10.1136/gut.2005.082909. PMC 1856208. PMID 16698746.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Haque R, Huston CD, Hughes M, Houpt E, Petri WA (2003). "Amebiasis". N Engl J Med. 348 (16): 1565–73. doi:10.1056/NEJMra022710. PMID 12700377.

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