Abstract

The effect of faecal microbiota transplantation on abdominal pain, stool frequency, and stool form in patients with moderate-to-severe irritable bowel syndrome: results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2021 May 17;1-9. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2021.1915375.Online ahead of print.

Anna Maria Alcasid Madsen 1, Sofie Ingdam Halkjær 1, Alice Højer Christensen 2, Stig Günther 2, Patrick Denis Browne 3, Thomas Kallemose 4, Lars Hestbjerg Hansen 3, Andreas Munk Petersen 1 5

 
     

Author information

  • 1Gastrounit, Medical Division, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Aleris-Hamlet Hospitals Copenhagen, Soborg, Denmark.
  • 3Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • 4Clinical Research Department, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark.
  • 5Department of Clinical Microbiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with intestinal dysbiosis. Therefore, faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been hypothesised to have a positive effect in patients with IBS. In this study, we analysed previously unexamined data from our randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (trial registration number NCT02788071). The objective was to evaluate the effect of FMT on abdominal pain, stool frequency, and stool form.

Method: The study included 52 adult patients with moderate-to-severe IBS assigned randomly to treatment with FMT capsules or placebo capsules (1:1) for 12 days. The patients were followed for a total of six months, during which they kept a daily symptom diary tracking their abdominal pain on a scale from 0-10 and their bowel movements using the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS). Diary data were not collected before treatment start.

Results: A statistically significant improvement in stool frequency was found in the FMT group from during treatment to post-treatment and 1 month. No statistically significant differences were found between groups at any time during the study for any of abdominal pain, stool frequency, and stool form (as measured by weighted stool score).

Conclusion: In this analysis of results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we found no clinically beneficial effect of FMT on abdominal pain, stool frequency, or stool form. However, since the current literature on the potential role of FMT in treating IBS shows conflicting results, further studies are required. To assess treatment efficacy, we recommend future studies to include daily symptom diaries both before and after treatment intervention.

 

 

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