Clinical outcomes of patients with ulcerative colitis and co-existing clostridium difficile infection

Daniela Jodorkovsky, Yuki Young, Maria T. Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Background The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection is increasing in the United States. The aim of our investigation is to compare short-term and long-term outcomes of patients admitted with an ulcerative colitis (UC) flare and co-existent C. difficile infection to those of non-infected patients. Methods A historical cohort study was undertaken examining admissions at Mount Sinai Hospital between June 2004 and June 2005 using ICD-9 criteria for UC. Charts were abstracted for those patients for whom C. difficile testing was performed. Results Of 288 admissions, 99 charts met the inclusion criteria. Fifty-two patients were C. difficile-negative and 47 were positive. Demographic data and laboratory values upon admission did not differ between the two groups. Patients who were C. difficile-positive had significantly more UC-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits in the year following initial admission (58 visits vs. 27, P = 0.001 and eight visits vs. 1 visit (P = 0.012), respectively). One year following the index admission, C. difficile patients had significantly higher rates of colectomy compared to C. difficile-negative patients (44.6% vs. 25%, P = 0.04). Length of hospitalization (11.7 vs. 11 days), use of cyclosporine therapy during index admission (48% vs. 47% of patients), and percentage requiring colectomy at initial admission (23.4% vs. 13.5%) did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions Our data suggest that patients presenting with a UC flare who are infected with C. difficile have worse long-term clinical outcomes than those that are C. difficile-negative. C. difficile testing should be performed for all patients presenting with UC flare. Further studies are warranted to elucidate how infection can alter the natural history of UC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Clostridium difficile
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis


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