Comparative Effectiveness of Clostridium difficile Treatments

December 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

Annals of Internal Medicine  20 Dec 2011 V.155 N.12 P.839-847

A Systematic Review

Dimitri M. Drekonja, MD, MS; Mary Butler, PhD, MBA; Roderick MacDonald, MS; Donna Bliss, PhD, RN; Gregory A. Filice, MD; Thomas S. Rector, PhD; and Timothy J. Wilt, MD, MPH

From Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Clostridium difficile infection is increasing in incidence and severity. The optimal treatment is unknown.


To determine whether, among adults with C. difficile infection, treatment with certain antibiotics compared with others results in differences in initial cure, recurrence, and harms.

Data Sources

MEDLINE, AMED,, and Cochrane databases (search dates: inception through August 2011, limited to English-language reports); bibliography review.

Study Selection

Randomized, controlled trials of adults with C. difficile infection, independent of outcomes, who were treated with medications available in theUnited States. Observational studies reporting strain were included.

Data Extraction

Study design, inclusion and exclusion criteria, quality and strength of evidence as assessed by 2 reviewers, study definitions, and duration of treatment and follow-up. Outcomes included initial cure, recurrence, and treatment harms.

Data Synthesis

11 trials that included 1463 participants were identified. Three trials compared metronidazole with vancomycin; 8 compared metronidazole or vancomycin with another agent, combined agents, or placebo. Strain was analyzed in 1 trial and 2 cohort studies. No study comparing 2 antimicrobial agents demonstrated a statistically significant difference for initial cure; all comparisons were of low to moderate strength of evidence. Moderate-strength evidence from 1 study demonstrated that recurrence was decreased with fidaxomicin versus vancomycin (15% vs. 25%; difference, −10 percentage points [95% CI, −17 to −3 percentage points]; P = 0.005). Subgroup analysis of a single study comparing metronidazole with vancomycin for patients who have severe C. difficile infection showed no difference by intention-to-treat analysis; this was rated as insufficient-strength evidence. Harms, when reported, did not differ between treatments in any study.


Definitions of diarrhea, C. difficile infection, initial cure, and relapse varied. Some studies reported insufficient detail to allow assessment of all randomly assigned participants or of harms.


No antimicrobial agent is clearly superior for the initial cure of C. difficile infection. Recurrence is less frequent with fidaxomicin than with vancomycin.

Primary Funding Source

U.S.Department of Health and Human Services.




Entry filed under: Antimicrobianos, Bacterias, Epidemiología, Infecciones gastrointestinales, Infecciones intraabdominales, Metodos diagnosticos, REVIEWS.

Atazanavir Plus Ritonavir or Efavirenz as Part of a 3-Drug Regimen for Initial Treatment of HIV Type-1: A Randomized Trial Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus: epidemiology, underlying mechanisms, and associated risks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


December 2011

Most Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: