To optimize utility of laboratory testing for Clostridiodes difficile infection (CDI), the 2017 Infectious Diseases Society of America-Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (IDSA-SHEA) clinical practice guidelines recommend excluding patients from stool testing for C. difficile if they have received laxatives within the preceding 48 hours. Sparse data support this recommendation.


Patients with new-onset diarrhea (≥3 bowel movements in any 24 hour period in the 48 hours before stool collection) and a positive stool C. difficile nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) were enrolled. Laxative use within 48 hours prior to stool testing, severity of illness (defined by four distinct scoring methods), and clinical outcomes were recorded.


Credit: Jennifer Oosthuizen CDC

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