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Keywords:

  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • Clostridium difficile;
  • rate of recurrence

Abstract

Background:

The incidence and associated morbidity of Clostridium difficile (CD) infection has been increasing at an alarming rate in North America. Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea in the USA. Patients with CDAD have longer average hospital admissions and additional hospital costs. Evidence has demonstrated that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a higher incidence of CD in comparison to the general population. The aim of this study was to compare the rate of recurrence of CD in hospitalized pediatric patients with IBD compared to hospitalized controls. The secondary aim was to evaluate whether infection with CD resulted in a more severe disease course of IBD.

Methods:

This was a nested case control retrospective study of hospitalized pediatric patients. Diagnosis of CD was confirmed with stool Toxin A and B analysis. The following data were obtained from the medical records: demographic information, classification of IBD including location of disease, IBD therapy, and prior surgeries. In addition, prior hospital admissions within 1 year and antibiotic exposure were recorded. The same information was recorded following CD infection. Cases were patients with IBD and CD; two control populations were also studied: patients with CD but without IBD, and patients with IBD but without CD.

Results:

For aim 1, a total of 111 eligible patients with IBD and CD infection and 77 eligible control patients with CD infection were included. The rate of recurrence of CD in the IBD population was 34% compared to 7.5% in the control population (P < 0.0001). In evaluating the effect of CD infection on IBD disease severity, we compared the 111 IBD patients with CD to a second control population of 127 IBD patients without CD. 57% of IBD-CD patients were readmitted with an exacerbation of disease within 6 months of infection with CD and 67% required escalation of therapy following CD infection, compared to 30% of IBD patients without CD (P < 0.001). Of the patients with IBD and CD, 44% of the cases were new-onset IBD, 63% were on immunosuppression therapy, and 33% were on gastric acid suppression prior to infection. In comparing the IBD-CD and control CD populations, there was no significant difference in antibiotic exposure: 33% of IBD patients and 26% of control patients were on antibiotics (P < 0.2). With regard to prior hospitalization, 10% of patients with IBD were hospitalized in the 30 days prior to infection in comparison to 27% of the control CD patients (P < 0.002).

Conclusions:

CD infection in patients with IBD results in a higher rate of recurrence and is associated with higher morbidity than the general population. Patients with IBD often required hospitalization and escalation of therapy following infection with CD, suggesting that CD resulted in increased severity of IBD disease. In addition, IBD patients were more likely develop community-acquired CD, while the control patients developed nosocomial infections, indicating a higher susceptibility to CD infection in patients with IBD. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)