Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Surg. 2008 Sep;196(3):384-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2007.11.017. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Outcome of colectomy for Clostridium difficile colitis: a plea for early surgical management.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, WANG-ACC 455, Boston, MA 02115, USA. jfhall13@gmail.com



Fulminant Clostridium difficile colitis is a common nosocomial infection that occurs with increasing frequency.


A total of 3,237 consecutive cases of C difficile cytotoxin-positive stool samples from 1998 to 2006 were reviewed. Commonly referenced indicators for surgical intervention were gathered on the day of surgery. The preoperative characteristics of patients surviving subtotal colectomy were compared with those who did not survive.


Thirty-six patients underwent colectomy. Twenty-three patients (64%) were discharged from the hospital alive. Preoperative intubation and vasopressor requirement were risk factors for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR], 7.15; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.28-39.8 and OR, 6.0; CI, 1.08-33, respectively). Patients who had a recent surgical procedure had a lower in-hospital mortality rate (OR, .11; 95% CI, .02-.52).


Fulminant C difficile colitis is associated with a high mortality rate. Development of a vasopressor requirement or need for intubation are ominous signs and should lead to rapid surgical intervention.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk