What are the complications and mortality rates associated with 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

Adverse outcomes from C difficile infection (CDI) include treatment failure, development of severe or severe-complicated infection, sepsis and the need for admission to the intensive care unit, need for colectomy, increased length of hospital stay, need for hospital admission in patients with community-acquired CDI, and mortality. [37] (Mortality rates from C difficile –associated diarrhea as high as 4.2-6.9% were found in several centers in North America; in a multicenter study from Quebec, mortality rates increased with age. [38] )

However, there is evidence that reliance primarily on hospital-based studies of CDI, with relatively few studies having been made of community-acquired cases, may have led researchers to underestimate the burden, but overestimate the severity, of the condition. [2] Patients with community-acquired CDI are generally younger, with less severe infection relative to hospitalized patients with CDI. [2]


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