Fast Five Quiz: Clostridium difficile

B.S. Anand, MD


August 05, 2019

Advanced age (> 60 years) and hospitalization (particularly sharing a hospital room with an infected patient, intensive care unit stays, and prolonged hospital stays) are known risk factors for infection with C difficile. Severe illnesses, immune suppression, and gastric acid suppression (or bypassing gastric acid via enteral feeds) are also well-established risk factors. Inflammatory bowel disease has been implicated as a strong risk factor for C difficile infection. Emergency general surgery has also been associated with a high incidence of C difficile infection, particularly in patients who receive three or more postoperative antibiotics and those who undergo bowel resections.

Rarer associations include the following:

  • Antineoplastic agents, principally methotrexate

  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome

  • Malignancies

  • Intestinal ischemia

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Necrotizing enterocolitis

  • Hirschsprung disease

  • Nonsurgical gastrointestinal procedures, including placement of nasogastric tubes

Read more about risk factors for C difficile infection.


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