Methods: In June 2016, the FilmArray™ Gastrointestinal panel (GI PCR) was implemented at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center to diagnose infectious diarrhea, replacing stool culture and other conventional methods. We reviewed all adult patients who received a HSCT at our center from June 2014 – May 2015 (pre-GI PCR) and June 2016 – March 2017 (post-GI PCR). Clostridium difficile infection was diagnosed by PCR for toxin B gene in both cohorts. Patients were followed for one year post-transplant. We compared the percentage of patients with an identified diarrheal pathogen, yield of testing per diarrheal episode, and number and cost of stool tests between cohorts.
Results: We identified 163 HSCT recipients in the pre-GI PCR cohort and 146 in the post-GI PCR cohort. Patients had a median of 2 diarrheal episodes during one-year follow-up in both cohorts. The proportion of patients with at least one identified infectious etiology of diarrhea increased from 21.5% to 34.3% after implementation of GI PCR (P=0.01). Only 2 patients (1.2%) in the pre-GI PCR cohort tested positive for a pathogen other than C. difficile, vs. 35 patients (24.0%) in the post-GI PCR cohort (P<0.001). Post-GI PCR, patients were most likely to have the following pathogens: C. difficile (n=23, 15.8%), diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (n=20, 13.7%), and norovirus (n=10, 6.8%). The percentage of diarrheal episodes for which an infectious etiology was identified increased from 11.7% (41/351) to 20.9% (74/354; P=0.001) in the post-GI PCR period. The median number of stool tests performed per year per patient decreased from 12 (interquartile range [IQR] 7-20) to 5 (IQR 3-11; P<0.001). Median costs of stool testing per patient during follow-up did not differ: (pre: $473, IQR $243-851) vs. (post: $425, IQR 249-956; P=0.23).
Conclusion: After introduction of GI PCR, infectious etiologies of diarrhea were identified in a higher proportion of HSCT recipients compared to traditional stool testing, without an increase in testing costs.
S. G. Jenkins, None
K. Van Besien, None
H. Singh, None
R. Soave, None
C. Crawford, Merck: Scientific Advisor and Speaker's Bureau , Consulting fee . Redhill: Speaker's Bureau , Speaker honorarium .
M. Satlin, Biomerieux: Grant Investigator , Grant recipient .
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