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Clostridium difficile infection in inflammatory bowel disease: challenges in diagnosis and treatment

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Abstract

The problem of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has reached epidemic proportions, particularly in industrialized nations. The pathophysiology, disease course and the potential complications are well appreciated in the general hospitalized patient. However, when CDI occurs in the setting of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a number of distinct differences in the diagnosis and clinical management of the infection in this population should be appreciated by gastroenterologists, hospitalists and other care providers. This review highlights the unique aspects of CDI when it occurs in IBD patients with an emphasis on the challenge of distinguishing persistent infection from exacerbation of underlying chronic colitis. An understanding of how CDI may differ in presentation and how management should be altered can prevent serious and life-threatening complications.

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Tang, Y.M., Stone, C.D. Clostridium difficile infection in inflammatory bowel disease: challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Clin J Gastroenterol 10, 112–123 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12328-017-0719-2

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