Management of Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection During Intensive Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplantation for Leukemia: Case with Literature Review

Cureus. 2018 Apr 2;10(4):e2413. doi: 10.7759/cureus.2413.


Immunocompromised patients undergoing chemotherapy for hematologic malignancy and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients are at increased risk of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI). The recurrence of infection and its associated morbidity and mortality are due to multiple risk factors. Diarrhea is common in HSCT recipients, but the diagnosis of diarrhea caused by CDI is a therapeutic challenge due to frequent Clostridium difficile colonization with diarrhea secondary to non-infectious causes. The high recurrence rate is a significant challenge in the treatment of immunocompromised patients. Close monitoring of the patients, timely diagnosis, preventive measures, treatment with antibiotics, and the removal of offending agents can help in the management and cure of the disease. We review the literature on management and describe a patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with multiple recurrences of CDI during leukemia therapy and allogeneic stem cell transplantation for leukemia.

Keywords: chemotherapy; clostridium difficile; infection; leukemia; stem cell transplantation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports