, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 643–648

Colonoscopic versus nasogastric fecal transplantation for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection: a review and pooled analysis

Clinical and Epidemiological Study

DOI: 10.1007/s15010-012-0307-9

Cite this article as:
Postigo, R. & Kim, J.H. Infection (2012) 40: 643. doi:10.1007/s15010-012-0307-9



Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been demonstrated to be highly effective for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). However, the best route of administration has not been established. We present a pooled analysis of the reported cases of CDI treated with FMT via colonoscopy or nasogastric tube (NGT) to evaluate treatment efficacy.


PubMed was searched for English-written articles published up to December 2011. Studies that reported cases of FMT for recurrent CDI using either colonoscopy or NGT-guided fecal infusion were reviewed.


A total of 182 patients from 12 published studies were identified; 148 patients received FMT via colonoscopy (colonoscopy group) and 34 patients received FMT via NGT (NGT group). The median age in the colonoscopy group as compared with the NGT group was 72 and 82 years, respectively. There were differences regarding pre-FMT treatment for CDI; 134 patients (90.5 %, 134/148) received lavage with/without antibiotic in the colonoscopy group and 34 patients (100.0 %, 34/34) received antibiotic without lavage in the NGT group, P < 0.001. A higher stool volume was used for FMT in the colonoscopy group (121 patients, 81.8 %, used 100–400 ml) than in the NGT group (33 patients, 97.0 %, used <100 ml), P < 0.001. The treatment efficacy did not differ significantly; 93.2 % (138/148) success for the colonoscopy group as compared to 85.3 % success (29/34) for the NGT group, P = 0.162. Recurrence of CDI after FMT was also similar in both the colonoscopy group (8/148 5.4 %) versus the NGT group (2/34, 5.9 %), P = 1.000.


Despite procedural differences, FMT via colonoscopy or NGT appears to be highly effective and safe for the management of recurrent CDI.


Fecal microbiota transplantation Clostridium difficile Colonoscopy Nasogastric tube 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

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