PURPOSE: The development of Clostridium difficile infection after cystectomy is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We implemented a prospective screening program to identify asymptomatic carriers of C. difficile and assessed its impact on clinical C. difficile infection rates compared to historical matched controls. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective C. difficile screening prior to cystectomy began in March 2015. The 380 consecutive patients who underwent cystectomy before the initiation of screening (control cohort) were matched based on 5 clinical factors with the 386 patients who underwent cystectomy from March 2015 to December 2017 (trial cohort). Patients who screened positive were placed in contact isolation and treated prophylactically with metronidazole. Multivariable models were built on an intent to screen basis and an effectiveness of screening basis to determine whether screening reduced the rate of symptomatic C. difficile infection postoperatively. RESULTS: With the implementation of the screening protocol the C. difficile infection rate declined from 9.4% to 5.5% (OR 0.52, p = 0.0268) in patients on the intent to screen protocol and from 9.2% to 4.9% in those on the effectiveness of screening protocol (OR 0.46, p = 0.0174). CONCLUSIONS: C. difficile screening prior to cystectomy is associated with a significant decrease in the rate of clinically symptomatic infection postoperatively. These results should be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial.
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