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Fecal microbiota transplantation therapy for digestive disorders

The latest issue of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics evaluates fecal microbiota transplantation therapy for digestive and nondigestive disorders in adults and children.

News image

There has been growing interest in the use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for the treatment of gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal diseases.

Dr Kaichun Wu and colleagues from China reviewed systematically the reported efficacy and safety of FMT in the management of gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal disorders in adults and children.

The systematic review followed Cochrane and PRISMA recommendations.

Available articles were identified using 3 electronic databases in addition to hand searching and contacting experts.

The team's inclusion criteria were any reports of FMT therapy written in English.

The research team identified a total of 844 patients who had undergone FMT from 67 published studies.

91% of patients with refractory/relapsing C. difficile were cured

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The most common indications were refractory/relapsing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

There has been only one placebo-controlled trial, a successful trial in 43 patients with recurrent CDI.

The researchers found that 7 publications report FMT in pediatric patients with a total of 11 treated, 3 with chronic constipation and the remainder with recurrent CDI or ulcerative colitis (UC).

The research team found that 91% of patients with refractory/relapsing CDI were cured, and 78% of patients with IBD were in remission after FMT.

The team observed that FMT therapy could also be effective in treatment of some nongastrointestinal disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

The only reported serious adverse event attributed to the therapy was a case of suspected peritonitis.

Dr Wu's team concludes, "Although more controlled trials are needed, faecal microbiota transplantation therapy shows promise in both adults and children with gastrointestinal diseases such as CDI and IBD."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014: 39(10): 1003–1032
23 April 2014

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