Document Detail

Decrease in frequency of liquid stool in enterally fed critically ill patients given the multispecies probiotic VSL#3: a pilot trial.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20436058     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Diarrhea has adverse consequences for critically ill patients, health care staff, and health care costs. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of the multispecies probiotic VSL#3 in reducing the mean number of episodes of liquid stool in enterally fed critically ill patients. METHODS: A single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study was done in a 6-bed intensive care unit in a 330-bed public hospital in Australia. A total of 45 adults (20 intervention, 25 control) who required enteral nutrition for more than 72 hours were given VSL#3 or a placebo twice daily. The frequency (mean number of episodes per patient per day) and weight (grams per day) were determined for both liquid stool and liquid and loose (unformed) stool. RESULTS: The 2 groups of patients had no demographic or clinical differences. Patients received enteral nutrition for a mean of 8.5 days (SD, 5.4) and were studied for a mean of 11.9 days (SD, 5.6). Compared with the control group, the intervention group had a significant reduction in the frequency of liquid stools (incidence rate ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.27 to 0.93; P = .03). Smaller but still significant differences also occurred between the groups in both the frequency of episodes and the weight of liquid and loose (unformed) stool. CONCLUSION: VSL#3 was effective in reducing the frequency of liquid stool in critically ill patients receiving enteral nutrition. Probiotics possibly can minimize diarrhea in critically ill tube-fed patients, but more controlled clinical trials are needed.
Terence J Frohmader; Wendy P Chaboyer; Iain K Robertson; John Gowardman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of critical care : an official publication, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1937-710X     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Crit. Care     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-03     Completed Date:  2010-08-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9211547     Medline TA:  Am J Crit Care     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e1-11     Citation Subset:  IM; N    
Intensive Care Unit, Launceston General Hospital, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Australia / epidemiology
Critical Illness
Diarrhea / epidemiology,  prevention & control*
Double-Blind Method
Enteral Nutrition*
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus plantarum
Middle Aged
Pilot Projects
Probiotics / administration & dosage*
Streptococcus thermophilus
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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