Secondary Prophylaxis of Hepatic Encephalopathy With a Probiotic Preparation

2014-08-27 03:14:11 | BioPortfolio


The aim of the proposed project is to study the effects of a probiotic preparation (VSL#3®) for the prevention of recurrence of HE (Hepatic encephalopathy) in patients after the recovery of an episode of overt HE (secondary prophylaxis)


Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) represents a spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities seen in patients with liver dysfunction after exclusion of other known brain disease. The Working Party at the 11th World Congress of Gastroenterology, Vienna proposed a multi-axial definition of HE that defined both, the type of hepatic abnormality (type A, B or C) and the duration/characteristics of neurological manifestations (episodic, persistent or minimal HE) in chronic liver disease. Overt hepatic encephalopathy occurs in 30%-45% of cirrhotic patients and 10%-50% of patients with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. Development of HE is associated with a poor prognosis. Bustamante et al reported the survival probability of 42% at 1 year of follow-up and 23% at 3 years in patients with cirrhosis with a first episode of acute HE. The primary treatment of HE is the identification and treatment of the precipitating factors. The majority of the drugs used in the treatment of HE are primarily directed at the reduction or elimination of the increased neurotoxic ammonia levels. A meta-analysis of 22 randomized trials highlighted the lack of data supporting the efficacy of nonabsorbable disaccharides; however, the investigators concluded that current evidence is insufficient to support or refute the use of nonabsorbable disaccharides for treatment of HE. Recent studies with well defined groups however demonstrated the efficacy of lactulose. Alternative therapies such as benzodiazepine receptor antagonists, branched-chain amino acids, and L-ornithine-L-aspartate also have been shown to have some role. Antibiotics are effective in the treatment of HE, but adverse effects and concerns about long-term safety have limited their widespread use. Probiotics may have multiple beneficial effects in the prevention and/or treatment of HE. All four published studies on the effect of probiotics on hepatic encephalopathy have demonstrated efficacy. Treating patients to prevent development of a first episode is classified as primary prophylaxis of HE and preventing recurrence of HE in patients who had a previous episode of HE as secondary prophylaxis of HE. Sharma et al recently demonstrated that lactulose is effective in secondary prevention of HE. This study will assess the effects of a probiotic preparation for the prevention of recurrence of HE (secondary prophylaxis) in patients after the recovery of an episode of overt HE.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention


Hepatic Encephalopathy


VSL#3, Placebo


Dept. of Hepatology, PGIMER




CD Pharma India Pvt. Ltd.

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:11-0400

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