The team determined whether lactic acid bacteria could prevent colonization of the gut by potential pathogens and thus reduce the endotoxemia associated with acute pancreatitis.
They reported their findings in the September issue of the British Journal of Surgery.
Some 45 patients with acute pancreatitis were randomized into 2 double-blind groups.
The treatment group (n = 22) received a freeze-dried preparation containing live Lactobacillus plantarum 299 in a dose of 109 organisms. This was administered together with a substrate of oat fiber, for 1 week by nasojejunal tube.
|Proportion with infected pancreatic necrosis:|
Treatment group: 5%
| British Journal of Surgery |
The control group (n = 23) received a similar preparation but the Lactobacillus was inactivated by heat.
The authors found that infected pancreatic necrosis and abscesses occurred in 1 of 22 patients in the treatment group, compared with 7 of 23 in the control group.
The mean length of hospital stay was 13·7 days in the treatment group versus 21·4 days in the control group. However, this difference was not found to be significant.
Dr A. Oláh, of the Aladár Teaching Hospital, Györ, Hungary, concluded on behalf of the group, "Supplementary L. plantarum 299 was effective in reducing pancreatic sepsis and the number of surgical interventions."