Predictors of fecal transplant failure

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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol


BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a significant healthcare burden, with increased morbidity and mortality. Traditional treatment regimens using antibiotics for recurrent CDI are significantly less successful compared with 80-90% with fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). There is a paucity of data on failure rates and mortality after FMT in CDI. This study aims to identify the rates of failure, relapse, and mortality associated with FMT as well as the risk factors for FMT failure.

METHODS: A large retrospective cohort study was carried out including all patients who underwent FMT from December 2012 through May 2014. Patient factors (demographics, comorbidities, immune-suppression, transplant history, antibiotics used, hospitalization, and surgeries), disease factors (number of episodes of CDI, treatments, and severity), and transplant factors (route and number of FMT) were examined. Failure of treatment was defined as no resolution of diarrhea in patients who had been treated with one or more fecal microbiota transplantation within 90 days of FMT.

RESULTS: A total of 201 patients (age 66.6±18.3 years, 62.2% women) were included. The overall failure rate was 12.4%. Patients with failed fecal transplant had increased number of FMTs compared with those who responded (mean 1.92±0.997 vs. 1.29±0.615; P=0.004). No colectomies or death related to CDI were found in our patient population. Significant predictors of failure were female sex (P=0.016), previous hospitalization (P=0.006), and surgery before FMT (P=0.005). The overall mortality rate was 9.0% and failure of FMT was associated with an increased risk of death (odds ratio=5.833, confidence interval 2.01-16.925; P<0.05).

CONCLUSION: FMT is a suitable alterative to antibiotic use for recurrent CDIs, with a high success rate. The results indicate that hospital-acquired CDI may be a predictor of failure of FMT.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Cross Infection; Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous; Fecal Microbiota Transplantation; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Prognosis; Recurrence; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Sex Factors; Survival Rate; Treatment Failure

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