Role of probiotics in the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy in patients with HBV-induced liver cirrhosis.J Int Med Res. 2018 Sep; 46(9):3596-3604.JI
Objective This study was performed to investigate the role of probiotics (Clostridium butyricum combined with Bifidobacterium infantis) in the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced liver cirrhosis. Methods Sixty-seven consecutive patients with HBV-induced cirrhosis without overt hepatic encephalopathy were screened using the number connection test and digit symbol test. The patients were randomized to receive probiotics (n = 30) or no probiotics (n = 37) for 3 months. At the end of the trial, changes in cognition, intestinal microbiota, venous ammonia, and intestinal mucosal barriers were analyzed using recommended systems biology techniques. Results The patients' cognition was significantly improved after probiotic treatment. The predominant bacteria (Clostridium cluster I and Bifidobacterium) were significantly enriched in the probiotics-treated group, while Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae were significantly decreased. Probiotic treatment was also associated with an obvious reduction in venous ammonia. Additionally, the parameters of the intestinal mucosal barrier were obviously improved after probiotic treatment, which might have contributed to the improved cognition and the decreased ammonia levels. Conclusion Treatment with probiotics containing C. butyricum and B. infantis represents a new adjuvant therapy for the management of MHE in patients with HBV-induced cirrhosis.