Background: Placebo-controlled studies in maintaining remission of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD) of the colon are lacking.
Aim: To assess the effectiveness of mesalazine and/or probiotics in maintaining remission in SUDD.
Methods: A multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted. Two hundred and ten patients were randomly enrolled in a double-blind fashion in four groups: Group M (active mesalazine 1.6 g/day plus Lactobacillus casei subsp. DG placebo), Group L (active Lactobacillus casei subsp. DG 24 billion/day plus mesalazine placebo), Group LM (active Lactobacillus casei subsp. DG 24 billion/day plus active mesalazine), Group P (Lactobacillus casei subsp. DG placebo plus mesalazine placebo). Patients received treatment for 10 days/month for 12 months. Recurrence of SUDD was defined as the reappearance of abdominal pain during follow-up, scored as ≥5 (0: best; 10: worst) for at least 24 consecutive hours.
Results: Recurrence of SUDD occurred in no (0%) patient in group LM, in 7 (13.7%) patients in group M, in 8 (14.5%) patients in group L and in 23 (46.0%) patients in group P (LM group vs. M group, P = 0.015; LM group vs. L group, P = 0.011; LM group vs. P group, P = 0.000; M group vs. P group, P = 0.000; L group vs. P group, P = 0.000). Acute diverticulitis occurred in six group P cases and in one group L case (P = 0.003).
Conclusion: Both cyclic mesalazine and Lactobacillus casei subsp. DG treatments, particularly when given in combination, appear to be better than placebo for maintaining remission of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01534754).
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.