Evidence-based research methods were applied to assess the efficacy of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for the treatment of autism in children.
We searched the Chinese Biomedical Literature, CNKI, Wanfang, PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library databases to collect randomised controlled trials on faecal microbiota transplantation for the treatment of autism in children. The search included studies published from the creation of the respective database to 5 April 2022. Literature screening, data extraction, and quality evaluation were implemented by three investigators according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The meta-analysis was performed using the RevMan 5.1 software.
Nine studies with population-based subjects and four studies with animal-based subjects were included. Five papers were screened for the meta-analysis. The results showed that FMT markedly reduced Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC) scores in children with autism spectrum disorder (weighted mean difference (WMD) = -14.96; 95% confidence intervals (CI), -21.68 to -8.24; P < 0.001; I <sup>2</sup> = 0%). FMT also reduced Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores (WMD = -6.95; 95% CI, -8.76 to -5.14; P < 0.001; I <sup>2</sup> = 28.1%).
Our results indicate that FMT can benefit children with autism by reducing ABC and CARS scores, but more high-quality studies are needed to verify these results.
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