Development of a bedside scoring system for predicting a first recurrence of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea [Clinical Research Reports]


A scoring system for identifying patients at high or low risk for recurrent Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD) is described.


A retrospective cohort study was performed using data on adults with CDAD admitted to a 3-hospital system from 2009 to 2014. The primary endpoint was the rate of recurrent CDAD within 60 days of clinical cure of CDAD. Risk factors for CDAD recurrence were identified, and a risk prediction tool was developed using multivariate logistic regression.


The CDAD cure rate in the study cohort (n = 340) was 92.3%; the 60-day recurrence rate was 16.9%. Five factors were significantly associated with high recurrence risk: presence of CDAD at admission, body temperature of >37.8 °C at admission, leukocytosis, nosocomial CDAD, and abdominal distention on CDAD presentation. From that information a risk prediction tool, the CDAD "recurrence score," was developed (1 point is assigned for each factor present, for a maximum score of 5). Validation testing of the recurrence score indicated an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.72 (95% confidence interval, 0.65–0.80). A score of ≥2 had a negative predictive value of 91%, while a score of ≥4 had a positive predictive value of 70%.


If externally validated in future studies, a tool for predicting the risk of recurrent CDAD using data readily available at the time of presentation could allow clinicians to identify patients at high risk for recurrence, address modifiable risk factors, and select tailored treatments to improve patient outcomes.