Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients With Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection: A Four-Year Single-Center Retrospective Review

Muhammad Farhan Ashraf, Omar Tageldin, Yousef Nassar, Asra Batool


Background: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a common cause of hospital and community-acquired diarrhea with an annual incidence of 453,000 cases in the USA. The white race, female gender, and age over 65 years are known risk factors. Recurrence of CDI is a major problem in patients taking antibiotics for prolonged periods. These patients are observed to have reduced diversity of the intestinal microbiome. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) can restore the healthy flora in the gut, thus breaking the cycle of recurrent infection. Our study aimed to analyze the efficacy of FMT and the recurrence of CDI after FMT. We also aimed to investigate the effects of comorbidities on the outcome of FMT.

Methods: After obtaining approval from the institutional review board, we included 64 patients who had received FMT at our institution from October 2015 to November 2019. All the patients over 16 years of age in both inpatient and outpatient settings were included. Patients under 16 years of age and patients treated without FMT were excluded. Frozen stool from a standardized stool bank (OpenBiome) was used. The thawed specimen was instilled into the terminal ileum or the cecum. Patients were followed up for the next 1 year for analysis of improvement in symptoms, recurrence, and repeat FMT.

Results: On the 2-months follow-up, 75% of patients reported symptomatic improvement, 15.6% reported no improvement while 9.4% did not follow up. Twenty-six (40.6%) patients had CDI recurrence in the following year; and 69.2% of patients with recurrence underwent a repeat FMT. There was no statistically significant correlation between CDI recurrence and the age (P value = 0.68), gender (P value = 0.61), previous use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, P value = 0.11) or antibiotics (P value = 0.45). There was a statistically significant correlation noted with the use of immunosuppressants and recurrence (P value = 0.04).

Conclusions: FMT is a successful treatment modality for refractory and recurrent CDI. Repeat treatments can be beneficial if there is a lack of initial response. Being immunosuppressed with medications is associated with the risk of recurrence.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(4):237-243
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1436


Fecal microbiota transplant; Clostridium difficile infection; Frozen stool sample; Colonoscopy

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