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    Functional constipation is a prevalent, burdensome gastrointestinal disorder whose treatment remains challenging. Combined therapy uniting multiple treatments may be promising. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) which tends to be an etiological treatment has been increasingly investigated in its management. Meanwhile, laxatives are widely used to relieve constipation temporarily, but their overall efficacy is poor. Therefore, we performed meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the joint efficacy of FMT and laxatives in functional constipation. We performed a systematic literature search of 6 electronic databases as of August 11, 2020. Randomized controlled trial of FMT together with laxatives vs laxatives alone in functional constipation in adults were included. Two reviewers independently performed the screening, data extraction, and bias assessment. Dichotomous outcome data were synthesized by risk ratio, and measurement data by weighted mean difference (WMD). A total of 1400 records were identified, of which 5 were eligible (409 patients). Overall, compared to laxatives alone, combined therapy of FMT and laxatives more significantly improved total effective rate (risk ratio: 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14, 1.60; I2 = 13%), Bristol stool form scale score (WMD: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.57, 1.51; I2 = 76%), reduce Wexner score (WMD: -3.25; 95% CI: -5.58, -0.92; I2 = 92%), Knowles-Eccersley-Scott-Symptom (KESS) score (WMD: -5.65; 95% CI: -7.62, -3.69; I2 = 0%) and patient assessment of constipation quality of life score (WMD: -18.56; 95%; CI: -26.43, -10.68; I2 = 78%). No serious adverse events were reported. The majority of included studies had poor methodological quality. Combined therapy of FMT and laxatives may be a reasonably effective and safe treatment for people with functional constipation. However, caution is needed with the interpretation of these data due to the small sample size, high heterogeneity, and low quality of the studies. Besides, we expect that more studies will be performed exploring the efficacy and safety of combined therapy for functional constipation. Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


    Sijia Fang, Shan Wu, Lina Ji, Yongsheng Fan, Xinchang Wang, Kepeng Yang. The combined therapy of fecal microbiota transplantation and laxatives for functional constipation in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine. 2021 Apr 09;100(14):e25390

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    PMID: 33832129

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