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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Supplementation of Lactobacillus acidophilus in prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm newborns

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismilia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Amany M El-Kelany
Pediatrics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, 4.5 Km the Ring Road, Ismailia, 41522
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AJOP.AJOP_8_19

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Background Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious worldwide health problem in preterm neonates, especially those with very low birth weight. Probiotics may play a role in prevention of NEC and NEC-related mortality. Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible role of Lactobacillus acidophilus in reducing the incidence of NEC (Bell’s stage≥2) and NEC-related mortality. Patients and methods A prospective, blinded, randomized controlled trial was conducted at NICU of Suez Canal University Hospital, Egypt. We studied 100 preterm (≤34 weeks of gestational age) neonates who survived to feed, and they were assigned randomly into two equal groups. The intervention group received L. acidophilus at the first feeding twice daily for 6 weeks or discharge from NICU and the control group did not. Clinicians responsible for the neonates were blinded to the group assignment. Results Probiotic supplementation was associated with significant reduction in incidence of NEC (P<0.05) but did not reduce NEC-related mortality (P=1). Infants in the probiotic group had less gastrointestinal intolerance manifestations than the control group (P=0.027). Conclusion Oral L. acidophilus can reduce the occurrence of NEC (Bell’s stage≥2) and gastrointestinal intolerance manifestations in preterm neonates.

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