Treatment of Slow Transit Constipation With Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Background:

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been proposed as a therapeutic approach for functional gastrointestinal disease. We launched a clinical study to examine the safety and efficacy of FMT for slow transit constipation (STC).

Materials and Methods:

Twenty-four patients with STC, aged from 20 to 74 were enrolled in this prospective open-label study. Patients received FMT on 3 consecutive days through nasojejunal tubes and followed up for 12 weeks after treatment. Rate of clinical improvement and remission, Wexner constipation scale, Bowel movement per week, and gastrointestinal quality-of-life index were evaluated.

Results:

The rate of clinical improvement and remission based on clinical activity at week 12 was 50% (12/24) and 37.5% (9/24), respectively. The patient’s stool frequency increased from a mean of 1.8 (SD 1.3) per week pre-FMT to 4.1 (SD 2.6) at week 12 post-FMT without laxative usage (P<0.01). The stool consistency showed a tendency to improve after FMT administration. Comparison of pre-FMT and post-FMT Wexner constipation scores demonstrated a significant reduction between baseline (14.1±3.3) and the first week (9.8±4.9), which was maintained up to the following 12 weeks (7.5±3.2; P<0.01). Compared with baseline, significant overall improvements were also seen in gastrointestinal quality-of-life index score at week 1, week 2, week 4, week 8, and week 12 of follow-up (P<0.01). The improvements were accompanied by the decline of colonic transit time. No severe adverse events during the whole FMT procedure follow-up except for venting (6/24), abdominal pain (3/24), bloating (2/24), and diarrhea (7/24).

Conclusion:

This is a pilot study demonstrating that FMT was safe and may have the potential to improve symptoms in patients with STC.

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