Journal Article

Conditions Associated with Leukocytosis in a Tertiary Care Hospital, with Particular Attention to the Role of Infection Caused by <i>Clostridium difficile</i>

Anna Wanahita, Elizabeth A. Goldsmith and Daniel M. Musher

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 12, pages 1585-1592
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340536
Conditions Associated with Leukocytosis in a Tertiary Care Hospital, with Particular Attention to the Role of Infection Caused by Clostridium difficile

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Few modern studies have enumerated the conditions associated with leukocytosis. Our clinical experience has implicated Clostridium difficile infection in a substantial proportion of patients with leukocytosis. In a prospective, observational study of 400 inpatients with WBC counts of ⩾15,000 cells/mm3, we documented ⩾1 infection in 207 patients (53%). Of these 207 patients, 97 (47%) had pneumonia, 60 (29%) had urinary tract infection, 34 (16%) had soft-tissue infection, and 34 (16%) had C. difficile infection. C. difficile infection was present in 25% of patients with WBC counts of µ30,000 cells/mm3 who did not have hematological malignancy. Other causes of leukocytosis in the 400 patients included physiological stress, in 152 patients (38%); medications or drugs, in 42 (11%); hematological disease, in 22 (6%); and necrosis or inflammation, in 22 (6%). C. difficile infection is a prominent cause of leukocytosis and this diagnosis should be considered for patients with WBC counts of ⩾15,000 cells/mm3, even in the absence of diarrheal symptoms.

Journal Article.  5093 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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