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C. difficile Tends to Be Over-Diagnosed in Healthcare Facilities

Niaz Banaei, MD, discusses some reasons why healthcare-associated C. difficile tends to be over-diagnosed.

Niaz Banaei, MD, Associate Professor, Pathology, Stanford University, discusses some reasons why healthcare-associated C. difficile tends to be over-diagnosed.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“[Clostridium] difficile colonization is quite common in patients [who] are entering hospitals and patients [who] are [already] hospitalized. These patients are then exposed to a number of reasons to develop nosocomial diarrhea, such as: they get antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation, laxatives, and medications that induce diarrhea.

Then we look for Clostridium difficile as a cause of diarrhea in these patients. If they test negative, that’s easy; we assume that they don’t have C. diff infection, but if they test positive, we diagnose them as C. diff infection. In reality, a fraction of these patients are diagnosed with colonization, but given the diagnosis of infection. Almost all of these patients end up getting treated for C. diff infection, and, therefore, we are over diagnosing C. diff in a fraction of these patients.”