Clostridium difficile Infections amongst Patients with Haematological Malignancies: A Data Linkage Study
The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) within the general population has risen dramatically over the past decade, yet little data are available from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) centers. In the present study, we performed a chart review of 822 consecutive autologous and allogeneic HCST recipients treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital between 2004 and 2008 to determine the incidence of CDAD at our institution. Variables including age, sex, diagnosis, chemotherapy regimen, transplantation type, microbial colonization, coinfections, diet, antibiotic use, neutropenic fever, comorbid conditions, time to engraftment, growth factor administration, and occurrence of graft-versus-host disease were assessed as potential risk factors for the development of CDAD. Eighty-five CDAD cases (10.3%) were identified. Bivariate analysis revealed a significant association between CDAD and neutropenic fever, administration of a neutropenic diet, ciprofloxacin and aztreonam use and duration of therapy, vancomycin and aztreonam use and duration of therapy, receipt of an allogeneic transplantation, bacterial coinfection, and vancomycin-resistant Entereococcus faecium (VRE) colonization. Cox regression analysis identified the following as factors associated with the development of CDAD: age >60 years, allogeneic transplantation, and prior VRE colonization. Allogeneic recipients with CDAD experienced increased higher rates of grades II to IV gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease and nonrelapse mortality. A risk stratification model was developed to identify HSCT recipients at different levels of risk. With an incidence >10%, CDAD is a significant infectious complication of stem cell transplantation.