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BACKGROUND & AIMS: This review investigated whether the administration of enteral pre-, pro- and synbiotics compared with controls in adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients reduced the incidence of nosocomial infections, length of ICU stay, hospital mortality and specifically pneumonia. METHODS: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials comparing enteral feeding and pre-, pro- or synbiotics, versus standard enteral feed alone, in patients admitted to adult ICUs. RESULTS: Eight randomised studies with a total of 999 critically ill adult patients met the inclusion criteria. Pre- pro- or synbiotics were not associated with any significant change in the outcomes studied-length of ICU stay, hospital mortality and the incidence of nosocomial infection and more specifically pneumonia incidence. Few data were available for other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The use of pre- pro- or synbiotics in adult critically ill patients confers no statistically significant benefit in the outcome criteria studied. There is currently a lack of evidence to support the use of pre- pro- or synbiotics in patients admitted to adult ICUs, and a large well-designed trial is needed in this area.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Publication Date

04/2007

Volume

26

Pages

182 - 192

Addresses

Intensive Care Society Trials Group, Kadoorie Centre, Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK. peter.watkinson@nda.ox.ac.uk

Keywords

Humans, Cross Infection, Pneumonia, Critical Illness, Enteral Nutrition, Intensive Care, Length of Stay, Hospital Mortality, Probiotics, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic