How Effective and Safe is Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Immunocompromised Pediatric Patients with Clostridioides difficile?

KR Conover et al. JPGN 2023; 76: 440-446. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Clostridioides difficile Infection in Immunocompromised Pediatric Patients

In this multicenter retrospective cohort (n=42), the authors examined the efficacy and safety of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in immunocompromised (IC) children with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI).  Etiology of IC included: solid organ transplantation (18, 43%), malignancy (12, 28%), primary immunodeficiency (10, 24%), or other chronic conditions (2, 5%)

Key findings:

  • 23 (55%) of FMT was delivered via colonoscopy, 17 (40%) were delivered via enteric tube, and 2 (5%) via capsule
  • Success rate was 79% after first FMT and 86% after 1 or more FMT.
  • There were serious adverse events (SAEs) in 13 out of 42 (31%) patients; 4 (9.5%) of which were likely treatment-related (all patients recovered). These events included cecal perforation, aspiration pneumonitis, diarrhea and fever. Given retrospective design of study, AEs were likely underreported

My take: Though there are the potential for significant adverse effects, FMT is effective in a high percentage of immunocompromised children with CDI.

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