Background: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) continues to increase in incidence and severity, and was the most common nosocomial infection in the USA in 2010. Most cases of CDI respond to a standard course of antibiotics, but recurrent C. difficile infection (RCDI) has become increasingly frequent, and alternative treatments are needed. We examined the efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) instilled into the upper gastrointestinal tract for RCDI.
Materials and methods: The medical records for all patients treated with FMT during a 9-year period at a single institution in northern Minnesota were reviewed retrospectively. Eighty-nine FMT courses were provided by nasogastric tube to 87 patients, and demographic and clinical data were abstracted, including details of treatments prior to FMT, rate of FMT treatment success and clinical course during a 60-day post FMT follow up period. Fourteen FMT courses failed to meet criteria for inclusion.
Results: Each patient served as his or her own control, having failed standard treatment. After exclusions, the case series included 75 FMT courses administered to 74 patients. Fifty-nine FMT courses resulted in clinical resolution of diarrhea for a primary cure rate of 79%. Diarrhea relapsed following 16 FMT courses; in 9 of these cases diarrhea subsequently resolved after a single course of vancomycin. No adverse events were noted.
Conclusions: Our findings parallel findings from other studies when FMT has been provided via the upper GI tract, and suggest that patients with recurrent CDI may resolve diarrhea by introducing stool from healthy donors into the upper GI tract via nasogastric tube.
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