While Clostridium difficile gastrointestinal infection (CDI) is the most common hospital-acquired infectious disease, Clostridium difficile bacteremia (CDB) is exceedingly rare and its risk factors, mortality rate, and modalities of treatment are not well defined.
We conducted a retrospective, IRB approved, chart review of adult patients with a diagnosis of CDB admitted to our institutions from 2011 through 2017. Variables catalogued included previous antibiotic and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use, co-morbid conditions, prior history of CDI, diarrhea at the time of CDB, active malignancy, and gastrointestinal (GI) disruption (e.g., perforated viscous, GI bleeding, abdominal malignancy). Treatment courses and outcomes for CDB were also gleaned.
Seven patients with CDB were identified, with ages ranging from 35 to 81 years (median 65 years). Six (85.7%) patients had evidence of GI disruption and three (42.9%) were noted to have active cancer. Three (42.9%) patients had previous CDI by testing and three (42.9%) had complaints of diarrhea at the time of diagnosis. Six (85.7%) patients had exposure to PPIs before CDB diagnosis, and five (71.4%) had prior antibiotic exposure in the past 30 days. Five (71.4%) patients had a polymicrobial bloodstream infection, with the majority of organisms being enteric in nature. In terms of CDB treatment, the majority of patients received intravenous (IV) metronidazole and/or IV vancomycin in addition to broad spectrum antibiotics due to the polymicrobial nature of their infection. Three (42.9%) patients died during their hospitalization, only 1 who had polymicrobial bacteremia.
CDI is the most common cause of hospital acquired infection, though rarely causes bacteremia. Notable findings in our population included older age, concomitant malignancy, evidence of GI disruption, and prior exposure to PPIs and antibiotics. Antibiotics chosen to treat CDB were IV metronidazole and/or IV vancomycin, with other broad spectrum antibiotics utilized due to polymicrobial bacteremia. CDB is associated with a high mortality rate and is commonly manifested as a polymicrobial bloodstream infection. This is one of the larger case series that adds to the scant literature characterizing patients diagnosed with CDB.
K. Zeitler, None
J. Montero, None
S. Gompf, None
J. Toney, None