Durability and Long-term Clinical Outcomes of Fecal Microbiota Transplant Treatment in Patients With Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2018 May 17;66(11):1705-1711. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix1097.


Background: Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) appears safe and effective for treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI). However, durability, long-term clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction after FMT are not well described.

Methods: Eligible patients who received FMT for RCDI at Emory Hospital between 1 July 2012 and 31 December 2016 were contacted via telephone for a follow-up survey. Of 190 eligible patients, 137 (72%) completed the survey.

Results: Median time from last FMT to follow-up was 22 months. Overall, 82% (113/137) of patients at follow-up had no recurrence of C. difficile infection (CDI) post-FMT (non-RCDI group) and 18% (24/137) of patients had CDI post-FMT (RCDI group). Antibiotic exposure for non-CDI infections after FMT was more common in the RCDI group compared to the non-RCDI group (75% vs 38%, P = .0009). Overall, 11% of patients reported improvement or resolution of diagnoses not related to CDI post-FMT, and 33% reported development of a new medical condition or symptom post-FMT. Ninety-five percent of patients (122/128) indicated that they would undergo FMT again, and 70% of these 122 reported that they would prefer FMT to antibiotics as initial treatment if they were to have a CDI recurrence.

Conclusions: In this follow-up survey of outcomes after FMT at a median of 22 months follow-up, 82% of patients had durable cure of CDI. Patients with recurrence had more post-FMT antibiotic exposure, underscoring the need for thoughtful antibiotic use and a potential role for prophylactic microbiome enrichment to reduce recurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy*
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation*
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult