Intestinal Dysbiosis Disguised as a Rectal Fistula Treated With Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation


South Atlantic


Grand Strand Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



intestinal dysbiosis, autologous fecal microbiota transplant, fecal microbiota transplant, fecal microbiota transplantation, fmt, sigmoid-end colostomy, intestinal microbiome, gut microbiome


Digestive System Diseases | Gastroenterology | Internal Medicine


Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been efficacious in the treatment of intestinal dysbiosis, derangement of the native intestinal microflora, and the indications for autologous FMT are growing. A 69-year-old Caucasian man with a past medical history of paraplegia secondary to motor vehicle accident and sigmoid-end colostomy presented to his gastroenterologist with the complaint of rectal discharge. A complicated medical course pre-dated his presentation and included multiple decubitus ulcers requiring debridement and several courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The rectal discharge was initially presumed to be from a fistula leading to one of his ulcers; however, workup with anoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging of the pelvis showed no visible perirectal abscess or connection to the sigmoid colon through a fistula. Intestinal dysbiosis was an alternative theory considered to be the cause of his copious rectal discharge due to his several courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics and prolonged inactivity of his gut. This prompted a trial treatment plan utilizing autologous FMT, with the patient administering enemas containing his own stool to the distal limb of his bowel. As a result of this treatment, the patient’s chief complaint completely resolved within days of initiating treatment, although symptoms did eventually return. We would like to propose that further randomized studies should be done to investigate autologous FMT as a treatment for patients suffering from intestinal dysbiosis following sigmoid-end colostomy.C

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