Background and objectives: Clostridium difficile
infection (CDI) is an important healthcare-associated infection, with important consequences both from a medical and financial point of view, but its correlation with anastomotic leaks after colorectal surgeries is scarcely reported in the literature. Materials and Methods:
We conducted a retrospective study looking for patients who underwent open or laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancers between January 2012 and December 2017, excluding emergency surgeries for complicated colorectal tumors. We also examined patient history for risk factors for CDI such as age, sex, comorbidities, and clinical findings at admission or during hospital stay as well as tumor characteristics. Results:
A total of 360 patients were included in the study, out of which 320 underwent surgeries that included anastomoses. There were 19 cases of anastomotic leaks, out of which 13 patients were diagnosed with CDI, with a statistic significance for association between CDI and anastomotic leakage (p
< 0.0001). Most patients who developed both CDI and anastomotic leaks had left-sided resections or a type of rectal resection, while none of the patients with right-sided resections had this association, but with no statistical significance possibly due to the limited number of cases. Conclusions:
CDI is a relevant risk factor and should be taken into consideration when trying to prevent anastomotic leaks in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery for colon or rectal cancer. Thorough assessment of risk factors at admission should be mandatory in order to adequately prepare the patient and plan an optimal course of treatment. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and a multidisciplinary approach, with a team which should always include the surgeon, is mandatory when it comes to CDI prevention.
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