JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
REVIEW
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Systematic review with meta-analysis: the impact of Clostridium difficile infection on the short- and long-term risks of colectomy in inflammatory bowel disease.

BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is associated with increased mortality in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the risk of colectomy is variable and has not been adequately studied.

AIM: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the impact of CDI on colectomy risk in IBD.

METHODS: Multiple databases were searched systematically for observational studies reporting colectomy risk in IBD, stratified by the presence of CDI, and the duration of follow-up (short term 3 months, and long term at least 1 year). Weighted summary estimates were calculated using generalised inverse variance with random-effects model. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale.

RESULTS: Twelve observational studies were identified and included 35 057 IBD patients with CDI, and 929 259 without CDI. CDI did not increase the short-term colectomy risk in IBD patients overall (10 studies) (OR: 1.35; 95% CI: 0.68-2.67), or in patients with ulcerative colitis (nine studies) (OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.39-3.76). In contrast, CDI was associated with higher long-term colectomy risk in patients with IBD overall (five studies) (OR: 2.23; 95% CI: 1.18-4.21), and in patients with ulcerative colitis (four studies) (OR: 2.96; 95% CI: 1.19-7.34). The results were stable in subgroups stratified by recruitment period, hospitalisation status and geographical location. All studies were at least of moderate quality. The results were limited in the ability to compare IBD severity and the type of anti-microbial therapy.

CONCLUSION: Based on 12 observational studies with at least moderate quality, Clostridium difficile infection appears to increase colectomy risk in IBD in the long- but not short- term.

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