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Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Panacea or Placebo?

Shaukat, Aasma MD, MPH1; Brenner, Darren M. MD2

American Journal of Gastroenterology: July 2019 - Volume 114 - Issue 7 - p 1032–1033
doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000259

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of heterogeneous pathogenesis, and alterations in the gut microbiome/dysbiosis play a role in the development of symptoms in a subset of individuals with IBS. Consequently, it stands to reason that modulation of the microbiome via fecal microbial transplant (FMT) may serve as an effective treatment strategy because this has proven effective for treating other illnesses such as Clostridium difficile colitis. Small studies completed to date have offered conflicting results and the strains used, route of administration, and IBS subtypes may all play a role in treatment outcomes. A better understanding of the altered microbiome of patients with IBS and more rigorous trials are warranted before the utility of fecal microbial transplant for IBS symptoms can be determined.

1Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology Minneapolis VA Medical Center and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;

2Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Correspondence: Darren M. Brenner, MD. E-mail:

Received March 30, 2019

Accepted April 03, 2019

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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