If untreated, what is the disease progression of cholera?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

If untreated, the diarrhea and vomiting lead to isotonic dehydration, which can lead to acute tubular necrosis and renal failure. In patients with severe disease, vascular collapse, shock, and death may ensue. Dehydration can develop with remarkable rapidity, within hours after the onset of symptoms. This contrasts with disease produced by infection from any other enteropathogen. Because the dehydration is isotonic, water loss is proportional between 3 body compartments, intracellular, intravascular, and interstitial.


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