Tue, Jan 07, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Hospital performs first-of-a-kind transplant

By Fang Chih-hsien  /  Staff reporter

The Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital yesterday said that, on Dec. 23, it had performed the first successful fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) on a liver transplant recipient in Taiwan.

The procedure was performed on a 52-year-old man surnamed Lee (李) who received a liver transplant at the hospital seven years ago, the hospital said.

Lee returned to work after receiving the liver transplant and was regularly taking a low dosage of anti-rejection medication, it said.

However, over the past three months, he had been experiencing diarrhea on average six times a day, the hospital said.

A stool culture found he had contracted a Clostridium difficile infection, it said, adding that he was hospitalized and given antibiotics, but his condition did not improve.

After discussions between the hospital’s FMT and liver transplant teams, doctors performed an FMT, the hospital said.

The procedure was performed through a colonoscopy, it said, adding that the patient’s condition has since improved.

Since October last year, the hospital has performed five successful FMTs after regulatory changes were made in September 2018, hospital gastroenterologist Tsai Ming-chao (蔡明釗) said.

The majority of the recipients were elderly patients with chronic conditions and imbalances in gut microbiota caused by long-term or high-dose antibiotic treatment, he said, adding that in all five cases, the healthy fecal microflora were provided by the Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

Donors are legally required to receive physical examinations, and samples must be stored at certified labs, he said.

Cancer, surgeries, transplants, chronic illnesses, antibiotic usage and other factors can trigger C. difficile infections, he said, adding that he hopes the procedure will benefit more people.

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