Twenty patients with antimicrobial-associated diarrhea had a symptomatic relapse after oral vancomycin therapy. All patients had stool examinations which implicated C. difficile as the causative agent, and 16 had pseudomembranous colitis. Clinical courses were characterized by resolution of symptoms with recurrence of diarrhea at 4-21 days after vancomycin was discontinued. Studies of stools collected sequentially showed that vancomycin failed to eliminate C. difficile despite susceptibility to this agent with in vitro testing. A review of our records shows the incidence of symptomatic relapse is approximately 14%. This experience emphasizes the importance of adequate followup in patients treated with oral vancomycin for antibiotic-associated diarrhea or colitis due to C. difficile.
ASJC Scopus subject areas