Background: Lactobacilli are used in an attempt to maintain remission for Crohn disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and adverse events of Lactobacilli compared with placebo in maintenance therapy for Crohn disease.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, OVID and BIOSIS. All randomized trials comparing Lactobacilli with placebo in maintenance therapy for Crohn disease were included.
Results: Six randomized controlled trials with a total of 359 participants met the inclusion criteria. From the meta-analyses, the relative risk (RR) of clinical relapse rate was 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90–1.48) comparing Lactobacilli with placebo and RR of endoscopic relapse rate was 1.31 (95%CI 0.57–3.00). Subgroup analyses showed RR for clinical relapse rates of Lactobacilli versus placebo was 0.99 (95%CI 0.76–1.29) in adults, 1.85 (95%CI 1.00–3.41) in children, 1.68 (95%CI 1.07–2.64) in Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG and 0.91 (95%CI 0.68–1.23) in Lactobacillus johnsonii respectively. The pooled RR of adverse events was 0.83 (95%CI 0.61–1.12).
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis suggests that compared with placebo, administration of L. rhamnosus strain GG as maintenance therapy may increase the relapse rates of Crohn disease. L. johnsonii is inefficacious in reducing the incidence of relapse.