Fecal Microbiota Transplant from a Rational Stool Donor Improves Hepatic Encephalopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial.Bajaj JS, Kassam Z, Fagan A, Gavis EA, Liu E, Cox IJ, Kheradman R, Heuman D, Wang J, Gurry T, Williams R, Sikaroodi M, Fuchs M, Alm E, John B, Thacker LR, Riva A, Smith M, Taylor-Robinson SD, Gillevet PM. Hepatology. 2017 Jun 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Recurrent hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a leading cause of readmission despite standard of care (SOC) associated with microbial dysbiosis. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) may improve dysbiosis; however, it has not been studied in HE.

We aimed to define whether FMT using a rationally-derived stool donor is safe in recurrent HE compared to SOC alone. An open-label, randomized clinical trial with a 5 month follow-up in outpatient cirrhotic men with recurrent HE on SOC was conducted with 1:1 randomization. FMT-randomized patients received 5-days of broad-spectrum antibiotic pre-treatment then a single FMT enema from the same donor with the optimal microbiota deficient in HE. Follow-up occurred on days 5, 6, 12, 35 and 150 post-randomization. The primary outcome was safety of FMT compared to SOC using FMT-related serious adverse events (SAE). Secondary outcomes were AEs, cognition, microbiota and metabolomic changes. Participants in both arms were similar on all baseline criteria and were followed till study-end. FMT with antibiotic pre-treatment was well-tolerated. Eight (80%) SOC participants had a total of 11 SAE compared to two (20%) FMT participants with SAEs (both FMT-unrelated, p=0.02). Five SOC and no FMT participants developed further HE (p=0.03). Cognition improved in FMT, but not SOC group. MELD score transiently worsened post-antibiotics, but reverted to baseline post-FMT. Post-antibiotics, beneficial taxa and microbial diversity reduction occurred with Proteobacteria expansion. However, FMT increased diversity and beneficial taxa. SOC microbiota and MELD score remained similar throughout.CONCLUSIONS:FMT from a rationally selected donor reduced hospitalizations, improved cognition and dysbiosis in cirrhosis with recurrent HE. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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