Background: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a new technique recently introduced to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Little is known about the efficacy and risks of FMT in elderly and ill patients. Aim: To investigate FMT efficacy in ill and elderly patients compared to conventional treatment. Methods: The study comprised two groups of patients between 2012 and 2016 with recurrent CDI at two medical centers in Israel. The study group received FMT and the controls conventional therapy. The primary end points were CDI recurrence, length of hospitalization, and short-term survival. Results: Thirty-four patients altogether, (21 females, mean age 82 years) participated, 11 received FMT and 23 controls. Demographics and clinical characteristics were similar between the two groups. Comorbidity indexes, i.e., Charlson index was high in both groups. In the FMT group, 10/11 (90%) patients showed clinical improvement 3 days after initiating treatment compared to 9/23 (39%) in the control group, p = 0.02. Survival at 2 months did not differ between the groups (FMT 54%, Control 50%, p = 0.816), but mean survival in the FMT group was higher than in the control (12 vs. 4 months, respectively, p = 0.015). Two significant adverse events from the FMT group included suspected aspirations, both occurring during gastroscopy route of administration. Conclusions: FMT is effective for elderly and very ill patients. Safety is a concern, but is rare even in patients with much comorbidity. Colonoscopy may be the preferred route of FMT infusion.
- Clostridium difficle infection
- Fecal microbiota transplantation