Diagnosis of Clostridium Difficile Infection

Based on IDSA guidelines


Clostridium difficile (CDI): is defined by the presence of symptoms (usually diarrhea) and either a stool test positive for C. difficile toxins or detection of toxigenic C. difficile, or colonoscopic or histopathologic findings revealing pseudomembranous colitis

Testing : Patients with unexplained and new-onset ≥3 unformed stools in 24 hours are the preferred target population for testing for CDI (weak recommendation, very low quality of evidence). Consider testing patients for CDI if high ileostomy outputs >2 L in 24 hours.

Precaution : Patients with suspected CDI should be placed on preemptive contact precautions pending the C. difficile test results if test results cannot be obtained on the same day (strong recommendation, moderate quality of evidence)


L Clifford McDonald, Dale N Gerding, Stuart Johnson, Johan S Bakken, Karen C Carroll, Susan E Coffin, Erik R Dubberke, Kevin W Garey, Carolyn V Gould, Ciaran Kelly, Vivian Loo, Julia Shaklee Sammons, Thomas J Sandora, Mark H Wilcox.

Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2018 March 19, 66 (7): e1-e48

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1. Diarrhea?

More Information

Diarrhea is defined as unformed or watery stools, > 3 in 24h

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