Randomised placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the efficacy of probiotics for the maintenance of remission in patients with Crohn’s disease were eligible for inclusion. Studies had to assess clinical or endoscopic relapse.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG was the most commonly evaluated probiotic. Studies also evaluated Lactobacillus johnsonii, Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Intervention duration ranged from three to 24 months. Co-interventions included a variety of agents including antibiotics, corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. The mean age of patients ranged from 15 to 40 years. All but one study used the Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) to define clinical recurrence and all used the Rutgeerts scoring system to define endoscopic relapse.
The authors did not state how papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.