When should Clostridium difficile (C diff) colitis be suspected?

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

The diagnosis of C difficile colitis should be suspected in any patient with diarrhea who has received antibiotics within the previous 3 months, has been recently hospitalized, and/or has an occurrence of diarrhea 48 hours or more after hospitalization. [1] However, more recent studies have shown that C difficile can be the cause of diarrhea in community dwellers without previous hospitalization or antibiotic exposure [2] ; therefore, the diagnosis should be suspected in this population as well. (See Presentation and Workup.)


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