Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has been attracting attention lately as the most common hospital acquired infection. Patients with neutropenia because of malignancy seem to be at an increased risk for developing CDI. There is currently limited data that assesses the national burden and outcomes of CDI in Febrile Neutropenia (FN).
We analyzed the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database for all subjects with discharge diagnosis of FN with or without CDI (ICD-9 codes 288.00, 288.03,780.60, and 008.45) as primary or secondary diagnosis during the period from 2008 to 2014. All analyses were performed with SAS, version 9.4 (SAS Institute).
From 2008 to 2014 there were total 19422 discharges of FN patients with CDI. There was a rising incidence of CDI in patients with FN from 4.11% (in 2008) to 5.83% (in 2014). The In-hospital mortality showed a decreasing trend from 7.79% (in 2008) to 5.32% (in 2014), likely because of improvements in diagnostics and treatment. The overall mortality (6.37% vs. 4.61%), length of stay >5 days (76.45% vs. 50.98%), hospital charges >50,000 dollars (64.43% vs. 40.29%), colectomy and colostomy (0.35% vs. 0.15%), and discharge to skilled nursing facility (10.47% vs. 6.43%) was significantly more in FN patients with CDI versus without CDI over 7 years (2008 to 2014). Age above 65 years, Hispanic race, hematological malignancies, urban hospital settings, and sepsis were significant predictors of mortality in febrile neutropenia patients with CDI.
Despite the significant decrease in mortality, the incidence of CDI is rising in hospitalized FN patients with underlying hematological malignancies. Risk factor modification, with the best possible empiric antibiotic regimen is imperative for reducing mortality and health care costs in this cohort.