The rate of colectomy related to Clostridium
difficile infection was low and did not change significantly from 2000 to
2006, according to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in
The researchers identified patients from five tertiary
care centers who underwent colectomy due to C. difficile infection from
July 2000 to June 2006. The centers were participating in the CDCs
Prevention Epicenters Program. The researchers calculated the colectomy rates
by using the number of colectomies related to C. difficile per 1,000
During the study period, there were 8,569 episodes of
C. difficile infections among 8,033 patients. These episodes included
540 cases of recurrent C. difficile infection. Seventy-five patients
underwent a colectomy related to C. difficile infection. The overall
colectomy rate was 8.7 per 1,000 cases of C. difficile. Across the five
care centers, the rate ranged from 0 to 23 per 1,000 cases of C.
The colectomy rate for health care facility-onset C.
difficile infection was 4.3 per 1,000 cases; and the colectomy rate for
community-onset C. difficile infection was 16.5 per 1,000 cases. Risk
factors related to colectomy were being at least 65 years of age and white.
Because of the difficulties in establishing
optimal criteria on when to take a patient with C. difficile infection
to surgery, our study supports the need for prospective surveillance studies to
track colectomy trends in stable sentinel populations while using standardized
case definitions, the researchers wrote.
- Kasper AM. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012;33:470-476.
- The researchers report no relevant