World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Jan 14;27(2):224-232. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i2.224.
BACKGROUND: Acute pancreatitis is the leading cause of hospitalization for acute gastrointestinal disease worldwide. The effects of probiotics in mild acute pancreatitis have not been studied. We hypothesized that the administration of probiotics may accelerate the recovery of intestinal function and shorten the length of hospital stay (LOS) in patients with mild pancreatitis.
AIM: To investigate the value of probiotics in reducing the LOS in patients with mild acute pancreatitis.
METHODS: We conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of probiotics administered to patients with mild acute pancreatitis at a tertiary medical center. The patients were given probiotics capsules (a mixed preparation of Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecium) or placebo. The primary study endpoint was the LOS. The secondary endpoints included time to abdominal pain relief, recurrent abdominal pain, and time to successful oral feeding.
RESULTS: A total of 128 patients were included, with 64 patients in each arm. The severity of illness and the etiological distribution of disease were similar in the two groups. There was a significant reduction in the LOS in the probiotics treatment group vs the placebo group (5.36 ± 0.15 vs 6.02 ± 0.17 d, P < 0.05). The probiotics group was associated with a shorter time to abdominal pain relief and time to successful oral feeding (P < 0.01 for both) than the placebo group. No statistical difference was found in recurrent abdominal pain between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: The study results showed that the administration of probiotics capsules is associated with a shorter duration of hospitalization in patients with mild acute pancreatitis.