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May 1984

Clostridium difficile: Colonization and Toxin Production in a Cohort of Patients With Malignant Hematologic Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Dr Morris), the Division of Hematology (Drs Vogler and Winton), and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Mr Towns and Dr Hill), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; and the Hospital Infections Program, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Atlanta (Drs Jarvis, Nunez-Montiel, Dowell, and Hughes and Mrs Thompson). Dr Morris is now with the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(5):967-969. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350170109020

• We examined 45 (80%) of 56 consecutive adult patients with malignant hematologic disorders who were hospitalized during a 15-week period at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta. Stool samples for Clostridium difficile culture and cytotoxin assay were obtained on admission and then weekly during each patient's hospitalization. On admission, four patients had detectable C difficile in their stool samples, which was associated with prior antimicrobial use but not with prior cancer chemotherapy. One of the four patients with positive stool samples also had toxin present in the stool sample and was the only one with diarrhea. Eight (36%) of 22 patients hospitalized for one or more weeks had C difficile isolated from at least one stool specimen. The positive cultures showed no clustering in time, and no risk factors were identified for colonization. Only seven of 15 culture-positive stool samples and three of seven toxin-positive samples were associated with diarrhea.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:967-969)

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