Background: Few studies have investigated measures to prevent small bowel injuries induced by aspirin. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of probiotic treatment on the small bowel injuries induced by chronic low-dose aspirin use.
Methods: Thirty-five patients who took low-dose enteric-coated aspirin 100 mg daily (for more than 3 months) plus omeprazole 20 mg daily and were diagnosed as having unexplained iron deficiency anemia participated in this prospective randomized controlled trial. We assigned the patients to receive probiotic treatment with Lactobacillus casei for 3 months (L. casei group) or not receive the probiotic (control group). Patients underwent capsule endoscopy (CE) before and after treatment.
Results: Twenty-five patients, including 13 in the L. casei group and 12 in the control group, underwent the full analysis. Significant decreases in the number of mucosal breaks and the CE score were observed at the 3-month evaluation in the L. casei group as compared with the results in the control group (P = 0.039). The change from the baseline in the median number of mucosal breaks in the L. casei group was -2, as compared with 0.5 in the control group. The change from the baseline in the median CE score in the L. casei group was -228 compared with -4 in the control group (P = 0.026).
Conclusions: Co-administration of L. casei is effective for the treatment of aspirin-associated small bowel injury.