Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Clostridium difficile Infection: The Ochsner Experience

Ochsner J. 2014 Winter;14(4):538-44.


Background: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) accounts for 20%-30% of cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and is the most commonly recognized cause of infectious diarrhea in healthcare settings. The incidence of CDI is rising, while the effectiveness of antibiotics for treatment decreases with recurrent episodes. The use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for cure of CDI has been reported since 1958, and the worldwide cure rate is reported to be 93%. We report our experience with FMT for the treatment of CDI.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients undergoing FMT for CDI at Ochsner Clinic Foundation from August 2012 to November 2013. FMT was administered via colonoscopy for patients with recurrent or severe CDI. Stool donors were screened for infections in the majority of cases.

Results: FMT was performed in 20 CDI patients. The 16 female and 4 male patients ranged in age from 27 to 89 years (mean 62 years). The average duration of illness from diagnosis to treatment was 49.6 weeks, based on available data. Only 3 donors were unscreened for infectious pathogens. Nine donors were related to the recipients by blood; most of the other donors were spouses. The average length of follow-up after FMT was 3 months. No recurrences of CDI after treatment have been documented. Adverse events reported after treatment included abdominal cramping, bloating, flatulence, and nausea that resolved.

Conclusion: Although the US Food and Drug Administration currently considers FMT an experimental therapy, we demonstrate that FMT is safe, well tolerated, and effective for recurrent and severe CDI.

Keywords: Antibiotics; clostridium difficile; diarrhea; feces; microbiota.