Prevention of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants with Probiotics: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Document Type: Meta-Analysis


1 faculty of medicine kristen krida wacana university

2 Faculty of medicine Kristen Krida Wacana University


Background: Some studies show that probiotics reduce the incidence of NEC and sepsis; while other studies did not show significant difference of NEC and sepsis incidence. There was still no protocols or guidelines for the use of routine probiotics in VLBW preterm infants.
Objective: A meta-analysis was asses by reviewing up to date RCTs to see the effectiveness of probiotics to prevent NEC.
Data Sources: Studies search through search database Pubmed, Proquest, and Cochrane Library from 2009 to 2019.
Study selection: This meta-analysis was assess according to PRISMA guidelines.
Data extraction: The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of probiotics for very low birth weight preterm babies; full text english articles; and publish within the year of 2009 to 2019.
Result: The study include 9 studies. The incidence of NEC in the probiotic group were significantly lower (p= <0.00001, R=0.48). In the subgroup analysis, the incidence of NEC was lower in the multiple strain group and Lactobacillus group with p= 0.0004 and 0.006 respectively.The incidence of sepsis was lower in the probiotic group with p= 0.02; and insidence of all cause mortality was lower in the probiotic group with p= 0.02.
Conclusion: It was beneficial to use multiple strain probiotics and Lactobacillus strain probiotics to prevent NEC in VLBW preterm babies.


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 04 January 2020
  • Receive Date: 31 July 2019
  • Accept Date: 20 October 2019