Background: Clostridioides difficile infection can be a significant complication in surgical patients. The purpose of this study was to describe the incidence and impact on outcomes of Clostridioides difficile infection in adult patients after appendectomy.
Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data set was used to identify all patients with the primary procedure code of appendectomy between 2016 and 2018. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were extracted from the database, and descriptive statistics were performed. A multivariate logistic regression was created to identify predictors of Clostridioides difficile infection following appendectomy.
Results: A total of 135,272 patients who underwent appendectomy were identified, and of those, 469(0.35%) developed Clostridioides difficile infection. Patients with Clostridioides difficile infection were more likely to be older (51.23 vs 40.47 years; P < .0001), female (P = .004), American Society of Anesthesiology score >2 (P < .0001), present with septic shock (P < .0001), or lack functional independence (P < .0001). Patients with Clostridioides difficile infection were more likely to have increased operative time (62.9 vs 50.4 minutes; P < .0001), have perforated appendicitis (48.9% vs 23.5%; P < .0001), and underwent open surgery (7.0% vs 4.0%; P = .0006). Postoperatively, patients with Clostridioides difficile infection required a longer length of stay (4.8 vs 1.8 days; P < .0001), had increased mortality (2.1% vs 0.1%; P < .0001), higher incidences of postoperative abscess (14.9% vs 2.9%; P < .0001), postoperative sepsis (15.1% vs 4.0%; P < .0001), and readmission (30.7% vs 3.4%; all P < .0001). On multivariate analysis, older age (P < .0001), female sex (P = .0043), septic shock (P = .0002), open surgery (P = .037), and dirty wound class (P = .0147) were all independently predictive factors of Clostridioides difficile infection after appendectomy.
Conclusion: Clostridioides difficile infection is an uncommon postoperative complication of appendectomy and is associated with worse outcomes and higher mortality. Older patients, female sex, those with sepsis, and those undergoing open surgery are at higher risk for developing Clostridioides difficile infection.
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