JOURNAL ARTICLE

Impact of Clostridium difficile on inflammatory bowel disease

Mazen Issa, Aravind Vijayapal, Mary Beth Graham, Dawn B Beaulieu, Mary F Otterson, Sarah Lundeen, Susan Skaros, Lydia R Weber, Richard A Komorowski, Josh F Knox, Jeanne Emmons, Jasmohan S Bajaj, David G Binion
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2007, 5 (3): 345-51
17368234

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Clostridium difficile-associated disease has increased significantly in North American medical centers. The impact of C difficile on patients with IBD (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) at the present time is unknown.

METHODS: A retrospective, observational study evaluating IBD patients followed in a referral center to evaluate the impact of C difficile was performed. Diagnosis was confirmed with stool toxin analysis. Demographic information, diagnosis, anatomic location, IBD therapy, antibiotic exposure, hospitalizations, and surgeries were recorded. Available endoscopic and histologic data were evaluated.

RESULTS: Rate of C difficile infection increased from 1.8% of IBD patients in 2004 to 4.6% in 2005 (P < .01). Proportion of IBD patients within the total number of C difficile infections at our institution increased from 7% in 2004 to 16% in 2005 (P < .01). IBD colonic involvement was found in the majority of C difficile-infected patients in 2005 (91%), and the majority contracted infection as an outpatient (76%). Antibiotic exposure was identified in 61% of IBD patients with C difficile infection in 2005. Pseudomembranes and fibrinopurulent eruptions were not seen endoscopically or histologically. During 2004-2005 more than half of the infected IBD patients required hospitalization, and 20% required colectomy. Univariate and multivariate analysis identified maintenance immunomodulator use and colonic involvement as independent risk factors for C difficile infection in IBD.

CONCLUSIONS: C difficile infection has increased significantly in IBD patients and negatively impacts clinical outcome. Increased vigilance regarding this infection in IBD patients with colitis activity is warranted.

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