Clinical results and microbiota changes after faecal microbiota transplantation for chronic pouchitis: a pilot study
Objectives: Research evidence suggests that chronic pouchitis is associated with intestinal dysbiosis. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been proposed as a possible treatment. We performed a 6-month prospective, open-label, single-centre cohort pilot-study (NCT03538366) to investigate if FMT could improve clinical outcome and alter gut microbiota in patients with chronic pouchitis.
Materials and methods: Nine adult patients with chronic pouchitis were included and allocated to 14 days FMT by enemas from five faecal donors, with a 6-month follow-up. Pouchitis severity was assessed using pouchitis disease activity index (PDAI) before and after FMT. Changes in gut microbiota, and engraftment of donor’s microbiota were assessed in faecal samples.
Results: All patients were treated with FMT for 14 continuous days. Overall, four of nine patients receiving FMT were in clinical remission at 30-day follow-up, and three patients remained in remission until 6-month follow-up. Clinical symptoms of pouchitis improved significantly between inclusion and 14-day follow-up (p = .02), but there was no improvement in PDAI between inclusion (mean 8.6) and 30-day follow-up (mean 5.2). Treatment with FMT caused a substantial shift in microbiota and increased microbial diversity in six patients, resembling that of the donors, with a high engraftment of specific donor microbiota.
Conclusions: Symptomatic benefit in FMT treatment was found for four of nine patients with chronic pouchitis with increased microbial diversity and high engraftment of donor’s microbiota. A larger, randomised controlled study is required to fully evaluate the potential role of FMT in treating chronic pouchitis.