Author(s): Bulstrode NW, Bradbury AW, Barrett S, Stansby G, Mansfield AO,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and outcome of Clostridium difficile colitis (CDC) following aortic surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective clinical study, and case-note review. PATIENTS: Of 180 patients undergoing aortic surgery for either aneurysmal or occlusive disease between 1 September 1994 and 31 August 1996 (24 months), 15 (8.4\%) developed CDC. There were 12 male and three female patients of median age 65 (range 46-84). RESULTS: Two patients died from multiple organ failure in association with CDC, one of whom underwent negative relaparotomy for suspected ischaemic bowel because the diagnosis of CDC had not been entertained. Previously identified risk factors for CDC comprised: age > 65 (eight); renal impairment (four); chronic obstructive airways disease (seven); coexistent malignancy (three); admission from another hospital (four); H2 antagonist therapy (13); ITU (nine); and/or HDU care (14). Diarrhoea commenced a median of 9 (range 5-26) days, and CDC, was diagnosed a median of 14 (range 10-26) days after operation. All patients received intravenous Cefuroxime, originally prescribed as prophylaxis, for a median of 6 (range 3-16) days prior to onset of CDC. Two patients received 1 additional antibiotic; one received 2; two received 3; and one received 4 prior to onset of CDC. CONCLUSIONS: CDC is a common and potentially serious complication of vascular, and in particular, aortic surgery. Although such patients often possess several risk factors for CDC, colitis frequently follows prolonged 'prophylactic' cephalosporin administration, which should therefore be avoided.
This article was published in Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals