Which lab tests should be performed in the evaluation for Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection (CDI)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Laboratory testing for evaluating patients with CDI includes the following:

  • Complete blood count: Leukocytosis may be present (the levels can be very high in severe infection)

  • Electrolyte levels, including serum creatinine: Dehydration, anasarca, and electrolyte imbalance may accompany severe disease

  • Albumin levels: Hypoalbuminemia may accompany severe disease

  • Serum lactate level: Lactate levels are generally elevated (≥5 mmol/L) in severe disease

  • Stool examination: Stool may be positive for blood in severe colitis, but grossly bloody stools are unusual; fecal leukocytes are present in about half of cases


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