Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effect of LP229v on intestinal permeability and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) p55 receptor concentrations in patients with obstructive jaundice undergoing biliary drainage.
Patients and methods: Patients undergoing biliary drainage were recruited and randomized into three groups to receive Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299v), inactivated LP299v (placebo) or water. These were administered daily at noon until 7 days after biliary drainage. Intestinal permeability was measured using the lactulose/mannitol (L/M) dual sugar absorption test on admission, the day before biliary drainage and on days 1 and 7 after biliary drainage. Blood and urine were collected to determine the L/M ratio and the TNF p55 receptor levels at each time point.
Results: A total of 25 patients were recruited; 12 had choledocholithiasis and nine had a periampullary tumour. Open surgical biliary drainage was performed in nine patients, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in 12 and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography in two. Five patients received LP299v, five received placebo and seven, water. The median L/M ratio was 0.035 (0.018–0.065) at baseline. No difference existed between the groups on admission, before drainage and on day 7 after drainage (P=0.59, 0.175 and 0.61, respectively). The L/M ratio was lower in the LP299v group on day 1 after drainage [0.01 (0.01) vs. 0.18 (0.03–0.3) and 0.11 (0.07–0.14); P=0.37]. Although the TNF p55 receptor levels were lower on day 1 after drainage in the LP299v group (15.3 vs. 30.9 vs. 82.7 ng/ml; P=0.43), the concentration at the four time points was similar (P=0.24, 0.96, 0.43 and 0.68).
Conclusion: Pretreatment with probiotic LP299v improves intestinal permeability after biliary drainage and attenuates the inflammatory response. However, a larger multicentre trial is required to determine the effect on clinical outcome.