The efficacy of a highly concentrated probiotic preparation (VSL#3) for the prevention of flare-up in patients with chronic pouchitis, has recently been documented.
In this study, researchers from Italy assessed whether probiotic therapy with VSL#3 prevented the onset of acute pouchitis, in the first year after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.
The team included 40 consecutive patients who had undergone ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis.
|Patients with acute pouchitis:|
- VSL#3 group = 10%
- placebo group = 40%
Patients were randomized to receive either VSL#3 (1 packet containing 900 billion bacteria per day) or a placebo, immediately after ileostomy closure for 1 year.
The team assessed the patients clinically, endoscopically, and histologically after 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
In addition, they surveyed health-related quality of life using the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire.
The researchers found that 10% of patients treated with VSL#3 had an episode of acute pouchitis, compared with 40% of patients in the placebo group.
Furthermore, the team determined that treatment with VSL#3 resulted in a significant improvement in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire score. This improvement did not occur in the placebo group.
Dr Paolo Gionchetti's team concluded, "Treatment with VSL#3 is effective in the prevention of the onset of acute pouchitis and improves quality of life of patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis".