Comparing fecal microbiota transplantation to standard-of-care treatment for recurrent : a systematic review and meta-analysisClostridium difficile: a systematic review and meta-analysis infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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The use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a treatment option for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) is well established. Various studies have used different forms and administration routes for FMT. We performed a systemic review and meta-analysis to update the clinical knowledge about different FMT modalities for curing rCDI compared with medical treatment (MT).

Patients and methods

We searched PubMed and Medline from inception through 10 May 2018 for randomized control trials (RCTs) comparing FMT (fresh or frozen) versus MT. We used Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias tool to assess bias in the RCTs. We estimated odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for each outcome using a random effects model. P values of less than 0.05 were considered significant.


We included seven RCTs comprising a total of 543 patients with recurrent CDI. There was a nonsignificant trend toward resolution of diarrhea following a single fresh FMT infusion compared with frozen FMT and MT (OR=2.45, 95% CI=0.78–7.71, P=0.12, I2=69%). Subgroup analysis of fresh FMT vs. frozen FMT showed no difference between the two groups (OR=2.13, 95% CI=0.22–20.41, P=0.51, I2=61%). Frozen FMT infusion through upper route versus lower route showed no difference (OR=0.62, 95% CI=0.15–2.54, P=0.51, I2=0%). There was a nonsignificant trend favoring multiple treatments with FMT versus multiple courses of MT (OR=3.68, 95% CI=0.74–18.22, P=0.11, I2=0%).


FMT is a promising treatment modality for rCDI compared with MT alone. Different forms and routes of FMT administration seem to be equally efficacious. In future, more well-designed RCTs directed at homogenous FMT preparation and delivery methods are required to validate these findings.

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