Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients are at high risk of contracting Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). We systematically searched the PubMed and EMBASE databases through March 2014 and performed a random-effects meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence and trends of CDI over time. Among 48 eligible articles that included 12,025 patients at risk, we estimated that 7.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.5% to 9.5%) of HSCT patients are diagnosed with CDI during the peri-transplantation and late post-transplantation periods, an estimation that is relatively consistent across studies (τ2=032). Prevalence of CDI is significantly higher among the 5120 allogeneic patients (9.3% [95% CI, 7.0% to 11.9%]), compared with the 4665 autologous patients (5.2% [95% CI, 3.8% to 6.9%]) (P=02), and as many as 1 of 10 allogeneic transplant recipients are expected to be diagnosed with CDI compared with 1 of 20 autologous transplantation patients. However, this difference did not reach statistical significance when stratified data from the same centers were examined (P=11). Importantly, we found an increasing trend of CDI diagnosis both worldwide (P=02) and across studies conducted in North America (P=03) over the last 34years. Notably, studies with a follow-up period that extended through the late post-transplantation period (after day+100) had a similar prevalence of CDI as those that followed patients only during the peri-transplantation period (up to day+100) (P=94). In summary, CDI is common in the hematopoietic transplantation setting and the majority of infections occur in the peri-transplantation period. The prevalence is almost 9-times higher than that reported among all hospital stays, with an increasing trend over time.
- Clostridium difficile infection
- Stem cell transplantation
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