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19.08.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 6/2019

Infection 6/2019

Comparison of three current Clostridioides difficile infection guidelines: IDSA/SHEA, ESCMID, and ACG guidelines

Infection > Ausgabe 6/2019
Abrar K. Thabit, Mawadah H. Alsolami, Nojoud A. Baghlaf, Raghad M. Alsharekh, Hadeel A. Almazmumi, Afrah S. Alselami, Fatmah A. Alsubhi



Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a widely recognized condition associated with comorbidity and decreased patient quality of life. Certain professional medical organizations develop clinical practice guidelines for major diseases. This is done in an effort to streamline the universal clinical practice and ensure that a more accurate diagnosis and better treatments are offered to respective patients for optimal outcomes. However, as new data evolve, constant update of these guidelines becomes essential. While these guidelines provide up-to-date recommendations, they are not published around the same time; thus, their recommendations may vary depending on evidence available prior to guidelines preparation and publication.


Recommendations and corresponding justifications from three major CDI guidelines between 2013 and 2017 were pooled and compared, and notable differences were highlighted while providing an insight and a final recommendation from a clinical standpoint.


Most recommendations were consistent among all three guidelines. One notable difference was in the specification of candidates for CDI diagnosis, where it would be recommended to mainly test patients with three or more diarrheal episodes over 24 h, if they had no other clear reason for the diarrhea. Another conflicting point was regarding the treatment of non-severe CDI where vancomycin can be considered for older or sicker patients; however, metronidazole still remains a reasonable option based on recent data, some of which were not cited in the most recent guidelines of IDSA/SHEA.


Overall, it is prudent to follow these guidelines with critical appraisal to fulfill the goal of achieving optimum patient outcomes.

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