Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a microbiota-based therapy that shows therapeutic potential in recurrent or refractory Clostridium difficile infections and other intestinal or extra-intestinal disorders. Nonetheless, adverse events (AEs) remain a major challenge in the application of FMT.
Publications were retrieved in the databases of Medline, Embase and Cochrane Library. AEs were classified according to their causality with FMT or their severity.
A total of 7562 original articles about FMT were identified in this study, 50 of them fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Totally 78 kinds of AEs were revealed enrolled in these 50 selected publications. The total incidence rate of AEs was 28.5%. Among the 42 publications, 5 kinds were definitely and 38 kinds were probably related to FMT. The commonest FMT-attributable AE was abdominal discomfort, which was reported in 19 publications. For upper gastrointestinal routes of FMT, 43.6% (89/204) patients were compromised by FMT-attributable AE, while the incidence dropped to 17.7% (76/430) for lower gastrointestinal routes. In contrast, the incidences of serious adverse events (SAEs) were 2.0% (4/196) and 6.1% (40/659) for upper and lower gastrointestinal routes, respectively. A total of 44 kinds of SAEs occurred in 9.2% patients, including death (3.5%, 38/1089), infection (2.5%, 27/1089), relapse of inflammatory bowel diseases (0.6%, 7/1089) and Clostridium difficile infection (0.9%, 10/1089).