Comparison of treatment outcomes with vancomycin alone versus combination therapy in severe Clostridium difficile infection

S N Bass, S R Bauer, E A Neuner, S W Lam
Journal of Hospital Infection 2013, 85 (1): 22-7

BACKGROUND: The recommended treatment for severe Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is oral vancomycin alone. Combination therapy with metronidazole is only recommended in cases complicated by shock, ileus, or toxic megacolon. However, patients with severe infection are often treated with combination therapy despite a lack of data supporting this practice.

AIM: To evaluate differences in outcomes for patients with severe CDI treated with oral vancomycin alone versus combination therapy.

METHODS: Medical records of 78 patients with severe CDI receiving either oral vancomycin alone or combination therapy for ≥ 72h were retrospectively reviewed. The primary outcome was time to clinical cure of CDI, defined as the first day of resolution of diarrhoea for ≥ 48h without development of a complication. Other endpoints included cure rates, complication rates, and recurrence rates.

FINDINGS: There was no difference in the incidence of clinical cure between monotherapy and combination therapy (57.1% vs 65.1%, P = 0.49). Median time to clinical cure was 7.0 days for the monotherapy group and 8.0 days for combination therapy (P = 0.19). After adjustment for potential confounders, the hazard ratio of the time to clinical cure for combination therapy compared with monotherapy was 0.58 (P = 0.10). There was no difference in recurrence rate or rates of individual complications between groups; however, there was a significantly higher composite complication rate in the combination therapy group.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that there is no difference in treatment outcomes between monotherapy and combination therapy for severe CDI.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"