Aliment Pharmacol Ther31, 754–759


Background  Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) may play an important role on the onset of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) in adults. The impact of Clostridium difficile on children treated with gastric acid-suppressing agents remains unknown.

Aim  To investigate the relationship between CDAD and exposure to acid suppressive therapy in hospitalized paediatric patients.

Methods  We reviewed the medical records of children, with a diagnosis of protracted diarrhoea and abdominal pain, whose stool was analysed for C. difficile toxins. We identified 68 patients with CDAD. For each patient, we randomly selected one control subjects with stool analysis negative for C. difficile. Comorbid illnesses, previous hospitalizations, antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and gastric acid suppressing exposures were recorded.

Results  The use of PPI was significantly higher in C. difficile positive group compared with C. difficile negative group [odds ratio (OR): = 4.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4–14.4]. We also found a trend for the use of H2RAs in patients infected by C. difficile compared with C. difficile negative comparison group (OR: = 3.8; 95% CI = 0.7–18.9).

Conclusions  Children exposed to PPIs therapy seem to be at higher risk for the development of Clostridium difficile-associated disease.