Effectiveness of probiotics in the prophylaxis of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm neonates: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Objective: To elucidate the benefits of using probiotics in the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and its complications in preterm newborns. Method: This was a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, which included studies retrieved from three databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and LILACS), using a combination of the terms (necrotizing enterocolitis) AND (probiotics). Results: 11 randomized trials were included, totaling 2,887 patients, 1,431 in the probiotic group and 1,456 in the control group. There was a reduction in the incidence of NEC (NNT = 25), overall death (NNT = 34), and neonatal sepsis (NNT = 34) in the probiotic group compared to the control group. Patients that received probiotic supplementation had lower food reintroduction time (p < 0.001) and hospitalization time (p < 0.001) when compared to those not receiving probiotics. There was no difference in mortality caused by NEC. Conclusion: In premature newborns, the use of probiotics is effective as a prophylaxis for NEC and its complications. Copyright © 2013 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

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Bernardo, W. M., Aires, F. T., Carneiro, R. M., De Sá, F. P., Rullo, V. E. V., & Burns, D. A. (2013). Effectiveness of probiotics in the prophylaxis of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm neonates: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Jornal de Pediatria. Elsevier Editora Ltda. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jped.2013.02.004

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