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Treatment of Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection With Fecal Transplantation

Rabe, Stephanie M. ACNP-BC

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000035

Clostridium difficile infection is an increasingly common clinical challenge in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The infection often results in severe complications for the infected individual including relentless diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and mortality. Currently, there is a significant gap between research and practice in the management of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, and treatment guidelines are limited. Numerous attempts at treating this infection have been made including the practice of fecal transplantation. A comprehensive literature search was conducted and 6 studies were reviewed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of fecal transplantation as a modality in treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection refractory to other treatment methodologies.

The implementation of fecal transplantation is suggested to restore normal bowel flora in individuals with Clostridium difficile and rid patients of the infection. Additional studies have since revealed perceived barriers toward the implementation of this treatment modality, although it has shown promising results with success rates of 83%–100%. Further efficacy testing validation is needed in larger, prospective controlled trials to guide healthcare providers in the direction of a reliable, standardized treatment protocol for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.

Stephanie M. Rabe, ACNP-BC, is Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Innovation Unit, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence to: Stephanie M. Rabe, ACNP-BC, 345 E. Wacker Dr., Apt. 1109, Chicago, IL 60601 (

The author thanks Patti Griffith, MSN, RN, CRNP-BC, for the thoughtful and helpful review of this article.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Received August 05, 2012

Accepted September 15, 2012

© 2014 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.