Zhang VRY, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 - Review.
Clostridiodes difficile infection (CDI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections with high mortality rates. Optimal management of CDI depends on early recognition of severity. However, currently, there is no acceptable standard of prediction. We reviewed severe CDI predictors in published literature and its definition according to clinical guidelines. We systematically reviewed studies describing clinical predictors for severe CDI in medical databases (Cochrane, EMBASE, Global Health Library, and MEDLINE/PubMed). They were independently evaluated by two reviewers. Six hundred thirty-three titles and abstracts were screened, and 31 studies were included. We excluded studies that were restricted to a specific patient population. There were 16 articles that examined mortality in CDI, as compared with 15 articles investigating non-mortality outcomes of CDI. The commonest risk factors identified were comorbidities, white blood cell count, serum albumin level, age, serum creatinine level and intensive care unit admission. Generally, the studies had small patient populations, were retrospective in nature, and mostly from Western centers. The commonest severe CDI criteria in clinical guidelines were raised white blood cell count, followed by low serum albumin and raised serum creatinine levels. There was no commonly agreed upon definition of severe CDI severity in the literature. Current clinical guidelines' definitions for severe CDI are heterogeneous. Hence, there is a need for prospective multi-center studies using standardized protocol for biospecimen investigation collection and shared data on outcomes of patients in order to devise a universally accepted definition for severe CDI.