The significance of acute kidney injury in Clostridioides difficile infection

Tomer Avni*, Hani Hammud, Oranit Itzhaki, Anat Gafter-Gvili, Benaya Rozen-Zvi, Haim Ben-Zvi, Jihad Bishara, Alaa Atamna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) may present as sepsis with acute kidney injury (AKI). Herein, we aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with AKI complicating CDI. Methods: All consecutive adult patients hospitalized in Rabin Medical Center between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2018 with laboratory confirmed CDI, were included in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups: patients with AKI and controls. Primary outcome was all-cause mortality at 30 days after the CDI episode. Secondary outcomes included number of patients with deteriorating renal functions at 90 days, 90-day all-cause mortality, length of hospital stay and readmission rates. A multivariable analysis adjusted for other risk factors for mortality and renal function deterioration was conducted. An analysis of subgroups based on baseline kidney function and AKI stage was also performed. Results are reported as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results: A total of 527 patients were included, amongst them 140 patients with AKI and 387 controls. Patients with AKI were significantly older, had more comorbidities, and more of them had chronic kidney disease (CKD) at any stage at baseline. On multivariable analysis, 30 days all-cause mortality was significantly higher in patients with AKI, OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.05-2.66. Mortality was also significantly associated with advanced age and baseline CKD. Among patients alive at 90 days, deterioration of renal function was significantly more common in patients with AKI (27/63 (42.8%) vs 22/191 (11.5%), P =.000). In a multivariable analysis, deterioration of renal function at 90 days was associated with AKI at presentation (OR 4.67, 95% CI 1.05-20.6). Early (at discharge) renal function recovery was not associated with protection from further deterioration of renal function at day 90. Conclusions: CDI patients with AKI have an increased risk of mortality and further deterioration of renal function. Early renal function recovery does not infer protection from further deterioration of renal function at 3 months. Caution and nephrology follow-up should be considered after discharge for all patients who developed AKI during CDI, regardless of discharge creatinine levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13785
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


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