February 20th, 2012
Fecal transplants: The new cure-all?
The importance of our normal gut flora becomes apparent when antibiotics wipe out a portion of it and give Clostridium difficile a niche to reside in, which can lead to severe colitis. Relapse of the colitis is the rule until the normal gut flora is reestablished, and treatment of relapsing C. difficile colitis has usually involved trials of antibiotics and toxin binding agents.
More recently, fecal transplants have been reported as both first-line and relapse treatment for C. diff. The effect seems to be far superior to that from traditional approaches and is being touted as a treatment for other GI and nonGI diseases as well.
Have you used fecal transplants?
If not, what would it take for you to start using them?
If yes, how do you a) prepare them and b) deliver them (e.g., through the scope or by oral capsule delivery)?
What diseases do you screen the donor for?
What success rate have you observed?
How much does the treatment cost?
I look forward to hearing what your experiences have been.