Protocol for a randomised, placebo-controlled pilot study for assessing feasibility and efficacy of faecal microbiota transplantation in a paediatric ulcerative colitis population: PediFETCh trial

BMJ Open. 2017 Aug 21;7(8):e016698. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016698.


Introduction: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, relapsing condition characterised by colonic inflammation. Increasing prevalence in early-age diagnosis provides opportunities for additional complications in later life as a result of prolonged exposure to inflammatory and therapeutic insults, necessitating novel avenues for therapeutics which may result in fewer side effects. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has previously demonstrated potential therapeutic benefit in an adult randomised-controlled trial and several recurrent Clostridium difficile infection studies. This phase Ib pilot will be the first randomised, single-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to assess feasibility and patient outcomes in a paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) population.

Methods and analysis: Fifty patients will be randomised 1:1 to receive normal saline control or active sample. Enema administrations will be performed two times per week for 6 weeks, followed at a 6-month follow-up period. Feasibility outcomes will include measures of patient eligibility, recruitment, willingness to participate, samples collections, hospitalizations and drop-out rate. Improvements in disease symptoms will determine the efficacy of treatment. Clinical disease scores will be taken throughout the study period using the Paediatric Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index (PUCAI). Monitoring of inflammatory markers in blood and stool will be performed at regular intervals. Microbiome analysis will be conducted on stool samples collected throughout the trials period. Imaging and endoscopic surveillance will be conducted if clinically necessary.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethics was obtained from local hospital research ethics boards across all three sites. Health Canada and FDA approval was obtained for the use of an Investigatory New Drug product. Results from this trial will be presented in international conferences and published in peer-review journals.

Trial registration number: Trial registration number: NCT02487238; preresults.

Keywords: IBD; fecal microbiota transplantation; microbiome; pediatrics; treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation / methods*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Research Design
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers

Supplementary concepts

  • Pediatric ulcerative colitis

Associated data