Procedures in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Tânia Rodrigues, Sofia Rodrigues Fialho, João Ricardo Araújo, Rita Rocha, André Moreira-Rosário

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a prevalent gastrointestinal disease with no effective treatment. Altered microbiota composition seems implicated in disease etiology and therefore fecal microbial transplantation (FMT) has emerged as a possible treatment therapy. To clarify the clinical parameters impacting FMT efficacy, we conducted a systematic review with subgroup analysis. Methods: A literature search was performed identifying randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing FMT with placebo in IBS adult patients (8-week follow-up) with a reported improvement in global IBS symptoms. Results: Seven RCTs (489 participants) met the eligibility requirements. Although FMT seems not to be effective in global improvement of IBS symptoms, subgroup analysis shows that FMT through gastroscopy or nasojejunal tube are effective IBS treatments (RR 3.03; 95% CI 1.94–4.73; I2 = 10%, p < 0.00001). When considering non-oral ingestion routes, IBS patients with constipation symptoms are more likely to benefit from FMT administration (p = 0.003 for the difference between IBS subtypes regarding constipation). Fresh fecal transplant and bowel preparation seem also to have impact on FMT efficacy (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: Our meta-analysis revealed a set of critical steps that could affect the efficacy of FMT as clinical procedure to treat IBS, nevertheless more RCTs are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1725
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • fecal microbiota transplantation
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • meta-analysis
  • microbiome therapy
  • randomized controlled trials


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