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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 25

of 'Clostridium difficile infection in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis'

Protein-losing enteropathy is associated with Clostridium difficile diarrhea but not with asymptomatic colonization: a prospective, case-control study.
Dansinger ML, Johnson S, Jansen PC, Opstad NL, Bettin KM, Gerding DN
Clin Infect Dis. 1996;22(6):932.
A prospective, case-control study was performed in which enteric protein loss and nutritional status were measured in patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic infections due to Clostridium difficile. Enteric protein loss, measured by elevated levels of fecal alpha1-antitrypsin, was detected in 14 of 20 cases and controls with diarrhea (9 of 10 cases with C. difficile-associated diarrhea and 5 of 10 age-matched control with diarrhea not associated with C. difficile) compared with none of 20 asymptomatic cases and controls (10 colonized cases and 10 noncolonized controls without diarrhea who were matched by age and clinical diagnosis) (P<.0001). Cases and controls with diarrhea had higher prognostic nutritional index values (P = 0.005) and lower levels of serum albumin, transferrin, and cholesterol than did the asymptomatic cases and controls. Decreased nutritional status, measured by increased prognostic nutritional index values, was associated with the presence of diarrhea but not with the presence of C. difficile. Protein-losing enteropathy was associated with C. difficile only in the presence of diarrhea, and we did not detect an increased risk of protein-losing enteropathy or malnutrition as a consequence of asymptomatic colonization with C difficile.
Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.