Prognostic criteria in Clostridium difficile colitis

Ravi Ramaswamy, Harish Grover, Marilou Corpuz, Peter Daniels, C. S. Pitchumoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prognostic factors in Clostridium difficile (CD) colitis. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of proven cases of CD colitis in 18 months. Seventy six patients (from a 605-bed community hospital in the Bronx, NY) with proven CD colitis were studied. Mortality in patients with CD colitis was also examined. Results: Seventy six patients with proven CD colitis were admitted between January 1993 and June 1994. Eighteen patients died during the same admission. Upon admission, serum albumin was less than 25 g/L in 12 (20.6%) of the survivors and in eight (44%) of the deceased patients (p < 0.05). A fall in serum albumin levels was noted with the onset of symptoms of CD colitis in those who survived as well as in those who died, with a greater fall of 11.2 g/L (range 10-20 g/L) in patients who died compared with a fall of 6 g/L (range 5-10 g/L) in those who survived (p < 0.05). Use of more than three antibiotics was noted in 13 (72%) of those who died and in 18 (31%) of those who survived (p < 0.05). Persistence of CD cytotoxin 7 or more days after initiation of treatment was present in 14 (77%) of those who died and in eight (13%) of the survivors (p < 0.01). Duration of hospitalization correlated with the development of CD colitis (35.89 vs 11.7 days) with no significant difference between survivors and deceased patients with CD colitis. Factors such as age, sex, residence, past medical history score, mean score of presenting complaints of CD colitis, history of prior episodes CD colitis, and mean number of recurrent episodes showed no difference in mortality. Conclusion: Factors predictive of an increased mortality in patients with CD colitis include a serum albumin of less than 25 g/L on admission, a fall in serum albumin level of greater than 11 g/L at the onset of symptoms of CD colitis, use of three or more antibiotics, and persistence of positive CD cytotoxin in the stool after completion of 7 or more days of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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