Clinical predictors and risk factors for relapsing clostridium difficile infection

Jose Cadena, George R. Thompson, Jan E. Patterson, Brandy Nakashima, Aaron Owens, Kelly Echevarria, Eric M. Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a common cause of morbidity among hospitalized patients. Multiple factors have been associated with primary CDI, but risk factors for CDI relapses are less well described. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with CDI over a 15-month period. We compared patients with relapsing and nonrelapsing CDI, including risk factors associated with primary CDI and other variables hypothesized to be associated with relapsing CDI and 90-day mortality. Multivariable logistic regression models were created to examine risk factors for relapse and 90-day mortality. Results: One hundred twenty-nine consecutive patients with CDI were included; 38 (29%) had relapsing CDI. Factors associated with relapsing CDI included fluoroquinolone use (71% versus 49%, P = 0.04) and incidence of stroke (29% versus 12%, P = 0.02). In a regression model, use of a fluoroquinolone was associated with relapsing CDI (OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.11-5.72). Factors associated with 90-day mortality included higher Charlson comorbidity index score (4.34 ± 1.71 versus 3.42 ± 2.08, P = 0.02), severe CDI (58% versus 32%, P = 0.01), and the use of piperacillin/tazobactam (45% versus 23%, P = 0.03) or meropenem (10% versus 1%, P = 0.04). In the regression analysis, 90-day mortality was associated with severe CDI (OR = 1.76; 95% CI = 1.19-2.59). CONCLUSION: Fluoroquinolone use and prior stroke are associated with an increased risk of relapsing CDI. Relapsing CDI and severe CDI are both associated with increased 90-day mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • CDI
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Mortality
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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