Fecal Transplantation for Clostridium difficile infection
Fecal transplantation is also known as fecal bacteriotherapy, stool transplant, or human probiotic infusion (HPI). The most common condition that is treated with fecal transplantation is a gastrointestinal bacteria infection called Clostridium difficile. This condition causes severe and excruciating diarrhea that persists and often leads to weight loss, dehydration, etc. There are about 250,000 cases reported annually in the United States. The incidence Clostridium difficile infection has been on significant rise in both community and hospital settings. In recent years, the morbidity and mortality of Clostridium difficile infection have also increased significantly. It has been estimated that Clostridium difficile infection may be responsible for as many as 15,000 deaths a year in the United States. For patients suffering from severe or recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, who have received numerous and costly unsuccessful treatments, fecal transplantation is curative and life saving.
The most common cause of Clostridium difficile infection is antibiotic use. Clostridium difficile is commonly treated with antibiotics that is costly and can be counterproductive. Up to 30% patients will develop recurrent Clostridium difficile infections after antibiotic treatment. Some patients may develop as many as 10-20 recurrence. Patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection often become chronically and even seriously ill, some require multiple hospitalizations or long-term antibiotic therapy. However, repeated or long-term antibiotic therapy makes restoration of normal gut flora almost impossible, and Clostridium difficile is more likely to recur. The vicious cycle continues.
More doctors are turning to fecal transplantation for treatment of patients with Clostridium difficile infection. The concept of this treatment is to transfer normal gut bacterial flora (stool) from a healthy person to a patient with Clostridium difficile infection. The transplanted normal bacterial flora colonizes and displaces the pathogenic Clostridium difficile in the intestines, and restoration of normal bio-environment occurs.
Fecal transplantation involves the administering of stool obtained from a healthy donor into the infected patient’s intestines. The donor, typically a spouse or close relative, is evaluated and screened for a wide array of infections. On the day of the fecal transplant procedure, the donor submits fresh stool, which is then processed and then delivered into the infected intestines.
Studies and case reports indicate that fecal transplantation is an extremely effective therapy for Clostridium difficile infection. GI Consultants is the only center in Northern Nevada to offer fecal transplantation to patients with Clostridium difficile infections.
If you would like to learn more about fecal transplantation please contact us to schedule an appointment.