Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023 Apr 25;4(4):CD012774. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012774.pub3.
BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, relapsing disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that is thought to be associated with a complex interplay between the immune system, the GI tract lining, the environment, and the gut microbiome, leading to an abnormal inflammatory response in genetically susceptible individuals. An altered composition of the gut's native microbiota, known as dysbiosis, may have a major role in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease (CD), two subtypes of IBD. There is growing interest in the correction of this underlying dysbiosis using fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the benefits and safety profile of FMT for treatment of IBD in adults and children versus autologous FMT, placebo, standard medication, or no intervention.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, two clinical trial registries, and the reference sections of published trials through 22 December 2022.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials that studied adults and children with UC or CD. Eligible intervention arms used FMT, defined as the delivery of healthy donor stool containing gut microbiota to a recipient's GI tract, to treat UC or CD.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened studies for inclusion. Our primary outcomes were: 1. induction of clinical remission, 2. maintenance of clinical remission, and 3. serious adverse events. Our secondary outcomes were: 4. any adverse events, 5. endoscopic remission, 6. quality of life, 7. clinical response, 8. endoscopic response, 9. withdrawals, 10. inflammatory markers, and 11. microbiome outcomes. We used the GRADE approach to assess the certainty of evidence.
MAIN RESULTS: We included 12 studies with 550 participants. Three studies were conducted in Australia; two in Canada; and one in each of the following: China, the Czech Republic, France, India, the Netherlands, and the USA. One study was conducted in both Israel and Italy. FMT was administered in the form of capsules or suspensions and delivered by mouth, nasoduodenal tube, enema, or colonoscopy. One study delivered FMT by both oral capsules and colonoscopy. Six studies were at overall low risk of bias, while the others had either unclear or high risk of bias. Ten studies with 468 participants, of which nine studies focused on adults and one focused on children, reported induction of clinical remission in people with UC at longest follow-up (range 6 to 12 weeks) and showed that FMT may increase rates of induction of clinical remission in UC compared to control (risk ratio (RR) 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13 to 2.84; low-certainty evidence). Five studies showed that FMT may increase rates of induction of endoscopic remission in UC at longest follow-up (range 8 to 12 weeks); however, the CIs around the summary estimate were wide and included a possible null effect (RR 1.45, 95% CI 0.64 to 3.29; low-certainty evidence). Nine studies with 417 participants showed that FMT may result in little to no difference in rates of any adverse events (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.16; low-certainty evidence). The evidence was very uncertain about the risk of serious adverse events (RR 1.77, 95% CI 0.88 to 3.55; very low-certainty evidence) and improvement in quality of life (mean difference (MD) 15.34, 95% CI -3.84 to 34.52; very low-certainty evidence) when FMT was used to induce remission in UC. Two studies, of which one also contributed data for induction of remission in active UC, assessed maintenance of remission in people with controlled UC at longest follow-up (range 48 to 56 weeks). The evidence was very uncertain about the use of FMT for maintenance of clinical remission (RR 2.97, 95% CI 0.26 to 34.42; very low-certainty evidence) and endoscopic remission (RR 3.28, 95% CI 0.73 to 14.74; very low-certainty evidence). The evidence was also very uncertain about the risk of serious adverse events, risk of any adverse events, and improvement in quality of life when FMT was used to maintain remission in UC. None of the included studies assessed use of FMT for induction of remission in people with CD. One study with 21 participants reported data on FMT for maintenance of remission in people with CD. The evidence was very uncertain about the use of FMT for maintenance of clinical remission in CD at 24 weeks (RR 1.21, 95% CI 0.36 to 4.14; very low-certainty evidence). The evidence was also very uncertain about the risk of serious or any adverse events when FMT was used to maintain remission in CD. None of the studies reported data on use of FMT for maintenance of endoscopic remission or improvement in quality of life in people with CD.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: FMT may increase the proportion of people with active UC who achieve clinical and endoscopic remission. The evidence was very uncertain about whether use of FMT in people with active UC impacted the risk of serious adverse events or improvement in quality of life. The evidence was also very uncertain about the use of FMT for maintenance of remission in people with UC, as well as induction and maintenance of remission in people with CD, and no conclusive statements could be made in this regard. Further studies are needed to address the beneficial effects and safety profile of FMT in adults and children with active UC and CD, as well as its potential to promote longer-term maintenance of remission in UC and CD.
PMID:37094824 | PMC:PMC10133790 | DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD012774.pub3