Diagnose C. difficile infections using a two-step algorithm
Consider alternative (non C. difficile infection) etiologies that may explain symptoms
Diagnose fulminant C. difficile infections
Distinguish between C. difficile infection and IBD flares
More information on the diagnosis and treatment of C. difficile infections as well as the use of investigational FMT can be found in the following medical guidelines.
Considerations for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In order to optimize treatment, physicians must distinguish C. difficile infections (CDI) from an active IBD flare. However both indications have similar presentations—primarily, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Furthermore, endoscopic and histological features are not reliable markers as pseudomembranes typically associated with CDI may be absent in CDI positive patients with IBD.
Because of the difficulty of diagnosis based on symptoms, the American College of Gastroenterology guidelines recommend that IBD patients with worsening symptoms undergo screening for C. difficile using a two-step algorithm (described above) that distinguishes between active CDI infection and colonization.