Medline ® Abstracts for References 29,32,33
of 'Clostridium difficile infection in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis'
Extracolonic manifestations of Clostridium difficile infections. Presentation of 2 cases and review of the literature.
Jacobs A, Barnard K, Fishel R, Gradon JD
Medicine (Baltimore). 2001;80(2):88.
Clostridium difficile is most commonly associated with colonic infection. It may, however, also cause disease in a variety of other organ systems. Small bowel involvement is often associated with previous surgical procedures on the small intestine and is associated with a significant mortality rate (4 of 7 patients). When associated with bacteremia, the infection is, as expected, frequently polymicrobial in association with usual colonic flora. The mortality rate among patients with C. difficile bacteremia is 2 of 10 reported patients. Visceral abscess formation involves mainly the spleen, with 1 reported case of pancreatic abscess formation. Frequently these abscesses are only recognized weeks to months after the onset of diarrhea or other colonic symptoms. C. difficile-related reactive arthritis is frequently polyarticular in nature and is not related to the patient's underlying HLA-B27 status. Fever is not universally present. The most commonly involved joints are the knee and wrist (involved in 18 of 36 cases). Reactive arthritis begins an average of 11.3 days after the onset of diarrhea and is a prolonged illness, taking an average of 68 days to resolve. Other entities, such as cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis, and prosthetic device infections, can also occur. Localized skin and bone infections frequently follow traumatic injury, implying the implantation of either environmental or the patient's own C. difficile spores with the subsequent development of clinical infection. It is noteworthy that except for cases involving the small intestine and reactive arthritis, most of the cases of extracolonic C. difficile disease do not appear to be strongly related to previous antibiotic exposure. The reason for this is unclear. We hope that clinicians will become more aware of these extracolonic manifestations of infection, so that they may be recognized and treated promptly and appropriately. Such early diagnosis may also serve to prevent extensive and perhaps unnecessary patient evaluations, thus improving resource utilization and shortening length of hospital stay.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD, USA.
Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 19-1998. A 70-year-old man with diarrhea, polyarthritis, and a history of Reiter's syndrome.
N Engl J Med. 1998;338(25):1830.
Extraintestinal Clostridium difficile infections: a single-center experience.
Gupta A, Patel R, Baddour LM, Pardi DS, Khanna S
Mayo Clin Proc. 2014;89(11):1525.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the clinical burden of extraintestinal Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) seen at a single institution and to characterize the management and outcomes of these rare infections.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective medical record review was conducted to identify patients with isolation of C difficile from extraintestinal sites from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2013. Medical records were reviewed and data, including demographic characteristics, microbiology, clinical associations, management, and infection outcomes, were abstracted.
RESULTS: Overall, 40 patients with extraintestinal CDI were identified: 25 had abdominopelvic infections, 11 had bloodstream infections, 3 had wound infections, and 1 had pulmonary infection. C difficile was isolated with other organisms in 63% of cases. A total of 85% of infections were nosocomial. Factors associated with extraintestinal CDI included surgical manipulation of the gastrointestinal tract (88%), recent antibiotic exposure (88%), malignant tumors (50%), and proton pump inhibitor use (50%). Diarrhea was present in 18 patients (45%), 12 of whom had C difficile polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive stool samples. All isolates tested were susceptible to metronidazole and piperacillin-tazobactam. Management included both antimicrobial therapy and guided drainage or surgical intervention in all but one patient. The infection-associated mortality rate was 25%, with death a median of 16 days (range, 1-61 days) after isolation of C difficile.
CONCLUSION: Extraintestinal CDI is uncommon and often occurs in patients with surgical manipulation of the gastrointestinal tract and well-recognized risk factors for intestinal CDI. Management of extraintestinal CDI includes both antimicrobial and surgical therapies. Extraintestinal CDI is characterized by poor outcome with high mortality.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.