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

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

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Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Division of Digestive Diseases, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.



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.


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.


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.


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.

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