Incidence, Risk Factors, and Impact of : An Analysis of a National DatabaseClostridium difficile: An Analysis of a National Database Colitis After Spine Surgery: An Analysis of a National Database

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Abstract

Study Design.

A retrospective study of prospectively collected data.

Objective.

The aim of this study was to utilize a large national database with post-hospitalization follow-up data [National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)] to determine the incidence, risk factors, timing, and clinical impact of Clostridium difficile colitis in spine surgery patients.

Summary of Background Data.

Recent literature has suggested an increased incidence of C. difficile infections. However, there has been a lack of large cohort studies defining the incidence and impact of C. difficile colitis in patients undergoing spine surgery.

Methods.

Patients who underwent spine surgical procedures in the 2015 NSQIP database were identified. The primary outcome was a diagnosis of C. difficile colitis within the 30-day postoperative period. Independent risk factors for development of C. difficile colitis were identified using multivariate regression. Postoperative length of stay and rate of 30-day readmission were compared between patients who did and did not develop C. difficile colitis.

Results.

A total of 23,981 patients who underwent spine surgical procedures were identified. The incidence of C. difficile colitis was approximately 0.11% [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.07–0.16]. Of the cases that developed C. difficile colitis, 70% were diagnosed postdischarge and 88% had not had a pre-existing infection diagnosed. Independent risk factors for the development of C. difficile colitis were combined anterior/posterior lumbar fusion procedures [odds ratio (OR) = 12.29, 95% CI = 2.22–68.13, P = 0.010], greater age (most notably ≥76 years old, OR = 10.31, 95% CI = 3.06–34.76, P < 0.001), hypoalbuminemia (OR = 6.40, 95% CI = 2.49–16.43, P < 0.001), and anemia (OR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.13–5.05, P = 0.023). The development of C. difficile colitis was associated with greater length of stay (2.2 vs. 12.5 days; P < 0.001) and increased 30-day readmission (OR = 8.21, 95% CI = 3.14–21.45, P < 0.001).

Conclusion.

C. difficile was diagnosed in 0.11% of patients undergoing spine surgery. The majority of these cases occurred after discharge and in patients not having prior infection diagnoses. High-risk patients should be monitored and targeted with preventative interventions accordingly.

Conclusion.

Level of Evidence: 3

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