Predictors of fatal outcome after colectomy for fulminant clostridium difficile colitis: A 10-year experience

Alexey Markelov, David Livert, Harjeet Kohli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Surgical treatment of fulminant Clostridium difficile colitis has high mortality rates. Identification of a set of preoperative characteristics that could predict outcome after surgery is necessary to optimize clinical management and guide surgical timing. Data were retrospectively collected on patients operated on for C. difficile colitis between 2000 and 2010 at our institution. Statistical analysis was performed to identify predictors of mortality. We reviewed the records of 13 in-patients diagnosed as having C. difficile colitis and who underwent colectomy during the same admission. The in-hospital mortality rate for patients undergoing colectomy for colitis was 46.2 per cent. Independent predictors of mortality included the following: white blood cell count (34,600/μL or greater), hypoalbuminemia (1.5 g/dL or less), septic shock with requirements of vasopressors, and respiratory failure. Patients who underwent colectomy earlier (mean time from presentation to surgery 2.4 ± 1.5 days) had decreased mortality (P = 0.019).). Longer length of hospital stay to the time of diagnosis was associated with higher rates of fatal outcome (P = 0.031). Parameters without significant difference (P>0.05) included patient age, presenting symptoms, other comorbidities, creatinine levels, and CT scan findings. Identified factors can predict unfavorable outcomes after colectomy. Aggressive surgical intervention early in the course of the disease might be associated with improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-980
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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