Background and Aim
Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS) is a common complication of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The objectives of this study were to asses the risk of PI-IBS following a CDI. We also evaluated if there is a correlation between the onset of PI-IBS and the severity of CDI.
The study group consisted of 69 patients consecutively admitted in a tertiary center with an acute gastroenteritis episode, suspected of having a Clostridium difficile infection. PCR for CDI from feces were performed to assess the infection. The subjects were divided into two groups. A group consisted of patients with CDI and the other group where the CDI was ruled out. The patients were evaluated for PI-IBS 6 months after the episode of CDI by Rome III IBS diagnostic questionnaire and the Bristol Stool Form Scale. Severity of CDI was stratified according to the need for hospitalization or not. The questionnaires were paper printed and directly filled in by the subjects.
The response rate to the questionnaire was 100%. During the course of this study 31 patients died. Out of 38 patients, 37% (14 patients) were diagnosed with CDI. After CDI, 57% (8 patients) developed PI-IBS and 43% (6 patients) where without PI-IBS with a relative risk (RR) of 2.29 (95 % confidence interval CI 0.99 – 5.23), p=0.04. In the group of patients with a severe form of CDI, 90% (9 patients) developed PI-IBS with a RR of 2.72 (95% CI 0.80 – 9.24), p=0.04, compared to the group of patients with light and moderate forms CDI.
Our study shows that, 6 months after CDI, PI-IBS develops in 57% patients, higher than in the control group where CDI was ruled out by PCR (43%), statitstically significant (p=0.04). The severity of CDI was a risk factor for PI-IBS, 90% of patients with severe forms of CDI developed PI-IBS.