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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection

  • Raghu U. Varier (a1) (a2), Eman Biltaji (a3), Kenneth J. Smith (a4), Mark S. Roberts (a5), M. Kyle Jensen (a1), Joanne LaFleur (a3) and Richard E. Nelson (a6)...

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) places a high burden on the US healthcare system. Recurrent CDI (RCDI) occurs frequently. Recently proposed guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) include fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a therapeutic option for RCDI. The purpose of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of FMT compared with vancomycin for the treatment of RCDI in adults, specifically following guidelines proposed by the ACG and AGA.


We constructed a decision-analytic computer simulation using inputs from the published literature to compare the standard approach using tapered vancomycin to FMT for RCDI from the third-party payer perspective. Our effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Because simulated patients were followed for 90 days, discounting was not necessary. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.


Base-case analysis showed that FMT was less costly ($1,669 vs $3,788) and more effective (0.242 QALYs vs 0.235 QALYs) than vancomycin for RCDI. One-way sensitivity analyses showed that FMT was the dominant strategy (both less expensive and more effective) if cure rates for FMT and vancomycin were ≥70% and <91%, respectively, and if the cost of FMT was <$3,206. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis, varying all parameters simultaneously, showed that FMT was the dominant strategy over 10, 000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations.


Our results suggest that FMT may be a cost-saving intervention in managing RCDI. Implementation of FMT for RCDI may help decrease the economic burden to the healthcare system.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;00(0): 1–7

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to Raghu U. Varier, DO, MSc, NW Pediatric Gastroenterology, LLC, 300 N. Graham St., Suite 420, Portland, OR (
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This work has been presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2014, May 3–6. Abstract #1896750 accepted February 11, 2014. Poster Presentation, Sa1282.

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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
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