Effect of probiotics (Lactobacillus plantarum 299 plus Bifidobacterium Cure21) in patients with poor ileal pouch function: a randomised controlled trial

J Bengtsson, I Adlerberth, A Östblom, P Saksena, T Öresland, L Börjesson
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 2016, 51 (9): 1087-92

OBJECTIVE: Poor pouch function after restorative proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis is a considerable problem. Pouchitis and functional disorders are the most common reasons. Probiotics seem to have a beneficial effect in pouchitis but have not been assessed in functional pouch disorders. The aim was to analyse the effects of probiotics in patients with poor pouch function.

METHODS: Thirty-three patients were randomized to probiotics (Lactobacillus plantarum 299 and Bifidobacterium infantis Cure 21) or placebo in a double blinded, 1:1 fashion. The treatment effect was assessed by the pouch functional score (PFS; 0-15, 15 worst), pouchitis disease activity index (PDAI; 0-18, 18 worst), and levels of four faecal biomarkers of inflammation (calprotectin, lactoferrin, myeloperoxidase [MPO] and eosinophilic cationic protein [ECP]).

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were included (probiotics = 17, placebo = 16). There was no difference in change in the PFS from before to after treatment between the groups (median difference: -1.00, 95% C.I. -3.00 to 0.00, p = 0.119). Furthermore, probiotics had no effect on PDAI (median difference: 0.00, 95% C.I. 0.00-1.00, p = 0.786), or on faecal biomarkers. Significant correlations were observed between PDAI and each of the faecal biomarkers at study start. There were no correlations between PFS or PDAI symptom subscore and the biomarkers. PDAI endoscopic and histologic subscores correlated significantly to each of the biomarkers.

CONCLUSION: The hypothesis that probiotics improves pouch-related dysfunction was not confirmed. Faecal biomarkers could play a future role in the management of pouch patients.

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