Association of Clostridium difficile infection with outcomes of hospitalized solid organ transplant recipients: results from the 2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database


Correspondence to:

Thomas J. Sferra, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Suite 737, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Tel: 216 844 1765

Fax: 216 844 8397




Diarrhea is a frequent and potentially severe complication in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. One of the most common infectious etiologies of diarrhea in these patients is Clostridium difficile. Our objective was to investigate the association of C. difficile infection (CDI) with the outcomes of hospitalized SOT patients.


We extracted all adult cases with discharge diagnoses of SOT or CDI from the United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2009 database. We collected outcome variables (mortality, length of hospital stay [LOS], hospitalization charges, complications of the transplanted organ, and colectomy), demographic information, and comorbidity data for each of the cases. The data were evaluated using univariate and multiple variable regression analyses.


We identified 49,198 cases with SOT of which 2.7% had CDI. Univariate comparisons of cases with SOT + CDI to those with SOT-only revealed significant differences in the evaluated outcomes including in-hospital mortality (7.4% vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001), LOS (median 9 days vs. 4 days, P < 0.001), charges (median $53,808 vs. $31,488, P < 0.001), organ complications (38.1% vs. 33.9%, P < 0.001), and colectomy (1.1% vs. 0.3%, P < 0.001). Using multiple variable regression analyses, in the SOT cohort (SOT-only and SOT + CDI), CDI was independently associated with greater mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.22, 2.76, P < 0.001), longer LOS (difference 9.6 days, 95% CI = 9.3, 9.9, P < 0.001), higher charges (difference $69,647, 95% CI = $66,190, $73,104, P < 0.001), more complications of the transplanted organ (aOR 1.36, 95% CI = 1.28, 1.44, P < 0.001), and increased need for colectomy (aOR 3.10, 95% CI = 2.35, 4.08, P < 0.001).


Our results demonstrate that CDI is associated with overall significantly worse outcomes in hospitalized patients with SOT.