Incidence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Clostridium difficile Infections in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Abstract

Background

Kidney transplant recipients (KTR) may be at increased risk for Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) but risk factors and outcomes in this population have not been well studied.

Methods

An observational cohort study was conducted to determine the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of CDI in KTR. A total of 1816 KTR transplanted between 2000 and 2013 at the Toronto General Hospital were included. Sixty-eight patients developed CDI. Controls were selected at a 4:1 ratio using risk-set sampling, and risk factors were explored using conditional logistic regression models. The impact of CDI on graft outcomes was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results

The incidence rate of CDI was 0.64 cases/100 person-years. Independent predictors of CDI included antibiotic use (odds ratio [OR], 2.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.35-6.15), increased duration of hospitalization posttransplant (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06]), receiving a deceased donor kidney (OR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.47-6.05), and a history of biopsy-proven acute rejection (OR, 5.82; 95% CI, 2.22-15.26). In the Cox proportional hazards model, CDI was found to be an independent risk factor for the subsequent development of biopsy-proven acute rejection (hazard ratio, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.34-3.55).

Conclusions

Our results confirm that transplant-specific factors place KTR at a higher risk for CDI. Clostridium difficile infections may increase the risk of adverse outcomes, such as biopsy-proven acute rejection. These findings emphasize the importance of preventive strategies to reduce the morbidity associated with CDI in KTR.

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