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Pubmed-Symptomatic Response to Antibiotics in Patients With Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2024 Jan 30;30(1):7-16. doi: 10.5056/jnm22187.


BACKGROUND/AIMS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the symptomatic response rate to antibiotics in patients with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Similarly, we performed a meta-analysis on the symptomatic response to antibiotics in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients with and without SIBO.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases were searched from inception to March 2021. Randomized controlled trials and prospective studies reporting dichotomous outcomes were included.

RESULTS: There were 6 studies included in the first meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of antibiotics to placebo or no antibiotic. This included 196 patients, of whom 101 received antibiotics and 95 received placebo or no antibiotics. Significantly more patients improved with antibiotics (relative risk [95% CI] = 2.46 [1.33-4.55], P = 0.004). There were 4 studies included in the analysis comparing symptomatic response rates in IBS patients with or without SIBO with 266 IBS patients, of whom 172 had SIBO and 94 did not. The pooled response rate for symptomatic response was 51.2% in the SIBO group vs 23.4% in the no SIBO group, respectively. Significantly more IBS patients with SIBO responded to antibiotics compared to those without SIBO (relative risk [95% CI] = 2.07 [1.40-3.08], P = 0.0003).

CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics appear to be efficacious in treating SIBO, although small sample sizes and poor data quality limit this interpretation. Symptomatic response rates also appear to be higher in IBS patients with SIBO. This may be the first example of precision medicine in IBS as opposed to our current empiric treatment approach. Large-multicenter studies are needed to verify the results.

PMID:38173154 | DOI:10.5056/jnm22187

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