Last updated on February 2018

Fecal Microbial Transplant for Alcohol Misuse in Cirrhosis


Brief description of study

There is an epidemic of alcohol use disorder in the US. Alcoholism is an epidemic that spans all ages and socio-economic strata, which has a major impact on healthcare expenditure. Alcohol-associated liver disease can take the form of mild fatty liver, chronic liver disease including cirrhosis and a very acute active form known as alcoholic hepatitis. However, most patients with alcohol abuse issues with cirrhosis do not develop alcoholic hepatitis and are not willing to quit drinking. These patients are neither liver transplant candidates due to their drinking nor have any recourse to therapies directed towards the liver as is the case with alcoholic hepatitis. This is very large proportion of cirrhotic patients who do not have many therapeutic options.

Prior studies have demonstrated that these patients have an altered gut-liver axis which is exacerbated by dysbiosis and a higher production of potentially toxic secondary bile acids. These secondary bile acids in turn have the potential to worsen the already impaired gut barrier in these patients, creating a vicious cycle of inflammation and further liver injury that is led by the altered microbial composition. A gut-based strategy that has the capability of "resetting" this dysbiosis could help in the amelioration of this inflammatory load and improve the prognosis of these patients.

Detailed Study Description

Randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled safety, tolerability study with exploratory endpoints and pathophysiological evaluation of the FMT

Two groups of outpatients with cirrhosis will be randomized using random sequence generator into no-treatment and FMT groups.

Once patients are randomized 1:1 into group 1 (FMT) and group 2 (Placebo), both will be followed over 31 days and will include a 6 month visit to collect samples, perform questionnaires and to assess SAEs.

There is an epidemic of alcohol use disorder in the US. Alcoholism is an epidemic that spans all ages and socio-economic strata, which has a major impact on healthcare expenditure. Alcohol-associated liver disease can take the form of mild fatty liver, chronic liver disease including cirrhosis and a very acute active form known as alcoholic hepatitis. However, most patients with alcohol abuse issues with cirrhosis do not develop alcoholic hepatitis and are not willing to quit drinking. These patients are neither liver transplant candidates due to their drinking nor have any recourse to therapies directed towards the liver as is the case with alcoholic hepatitis. This is very large proportion of cirrhotic patients who do not have many therapeutic options.

Prior studies have demonstrated that these patients have an altered gut-liver axis which is exacerbated by dysbiosis and a higher production of potentially toxic secondary bile acids. These secondary bile acids in turn have the potential to worsen the already impaired gut barrier in these patients, creating a vicious cycle of inflammation and further liver injury that is led by the altered microbial composition. The investigators believe that a gut-based strategy that has the capability of "resetting" this dysbiosis can help in the amelioration of this inflammatory load and improve the prognosis of these patients.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03416751

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Recruitment Status: Open


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