May 02, 2013

Fecal Transplantation Administered Through the NOSE!

Fecal transplant is nothing new as it has been around since the 1950's... It is used to treat multi-drug resistant clostridium dificile infection by replacing the "bad" gut bacteria with normal "good" bacteria. However, what is new is the fact that such fecal transplantation is being administered through the nose using a tube threaded into the small bowel. [Thanks to @GuildfordENT who brought this to my attention!]

Historically, such fecal transplantation (aka fecal bacteriotherapy) was performed via multiple infusions via enema (uncomfortable for both the physician as well as the patient) or via colonoscope. Although first described being done in humans in 1958, it was never really seriously studied until the mid-1980's. Even before humans, it had been performed in animals by veterinarians for centuries.

In any case, there has been new literature supporting the use of nasoduodenal tubes to administer poop via the nose. With nasoduodenal tubes, a tube is threaded through the nose, past the stomach, and into the small bowel.

Now keep in mind that the stool actually NEVER comes into contact with the nose. It is contained within an impermeable tube at all times, so it is not quite as gross as you might think (though mentally, there may still be an emotional ick factor present).

Another approach being considered is encapsulating the poop inside enteric-coated capsules so a patient can theoretically swallow the pill-containing poop.

Media Mention:
Doctors save patient from deadly superbug by transplanting faeces through his NOSE. MailOnline

Duodenal infusion of donor feces for recurrent Clostridium difficile. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013 Jan 31;368(5):407-15. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1205037. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Same poop, different gut. The Scientist 11/3/105/2/13
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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