Abstract

Background and Aims: Many studies have shown a high effectiveness of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in treatment of recurrent or refractory Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). Nevertheless, data on long term outcomes and complications after FMT are still lacking. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy, the peri- procedural safety profile and the long-term efficacy and safety of FMT for recurrent CDI during a median follow up period of 24 months.


Methods: Our study included 60 consecutive patients that were treated from 2015 to 2019 for recurrent CDI. In all patients FMT was performed through the nasoenteric tube placed during gastroscopy. Fresh donor feces were used for FMT from unrelated donors. Pre-FMT preparation included CDI treatment with oral vancomycin 500 mg q.i.d. for at least five days and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) administration before FMT. Follow up data included information about recurrent CDI episodes, early and late complications, health status at 3, 12 and 24 months after FMT.


Results: FMT was performed for 60 patients (median age 72.5 years) with recurrent CDI. Clinical improvement after the first FMT procedure was observed in 48 patients (80%). Ten of 12 initially non-responding patients had a clinical resolution after a second FMT leading to an increased overall cure rate of 96.7 %. The remaining two patients needed a third FMT with a final overall cure rate of 100%. Nine of 60 patients were under immunosuppressive therapy. Six immunosuppressed patients were in the group of initial responders and the remaining three in the initially non-responder group. We observed a very low rate of adverse events in the short and long-term after FMT. During the first eight weeks after the FMT procedure, the death of three patients occurred, but they were not related to the FMT procedure. Patients were followed up for a median of 20 months, with the range from 12 to 55 months. During the follow-up period no long-term serious adverse events (SAE) were documented.


Conclusions: Our study confirms excellent efficacy rates of FMT in the treatment of recurrent CDI. In addition, this study shows that it is possible to avoid short term SAE when FMT is administered via a nasoenteric tube by following a very stringent peri-procedural patient follow-up protocol. Our study also demonstrates good safety with a low rate of long-term adverse events after FMT.

Keywords

Fecal microbiota transplantation, Clostridium difficile, follow-up, adverse events, immunosuppression