Liver cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy have poor prognosis. Probiotics alter the intestinal microbiota and reduce the production of ammonia. We conducted a meta-analysis about the role of probiotics on liver cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy.
We collected the relevant literatures up to February 21, 2014 from databases of PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. A statistical analysis was conducted by RevMan 5.2 and STATA 12.0 software.
Six randomized controlled trials involving 496 liver cirrhotic patients were included. The results showed that probiotic therapy significantly reduced the development of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OR [95% CI]: 0.42 [0.26, 0.70], P=0.0007). However, probiotics did not affect mortality, levels of serum ammonia and constipation (mortality: OR [95% CI]: 0.73 [0.38, 1.41], P=0.35; serum ammonia: WMD [95% CI]: -3.67 [-15.71, 8.37], P=0.55; constipation: OR [95% CI]: 0.67 [0.29, 1.56], P=0.35).
Probiotics decrease overt hepatic encephalopathy in patients with liver cirrhosis.