Efficacy of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 for infantile colic: Systematic review with network meta-analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Dec;96(51):e9375. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000009375.


Background: 5% to 40% of infants cry excessively, usually accompanied by fussiness and excessive of gas. There are no uniform criteria for treatment of infantile colic. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 has been used with promising results. The objective of this network-meta-analysis (NMA) is to compare the efficacy of L reuteri DSM 17938 with other interventions for infantile colic.

Methods: RCTs, published between 1960 and 2015 for the treatment of infantile colic were included. Primary outcome was duration of crying after 21 to 28 days of treatment. Different databases were searched. Information was analyzed using control group as central axis. A random effect model was used. Hedges standard mean difference (SMD) and odds ratio (OR) were calculated. A SUCRA analysis was performed to evaluate superiority for each intervention.

Results: 32 RCTs were analyzed, including 2242 patients. Studies with L reuteri DSM 17938 versus Ctrl., Diet versus Ctrl. and Acupuncture versus Ctrl. were the most influential studies in the NMA. L reuteri DSM 17938 [WMD -51.3 h (CI95% -72.2 to -30.5 h), P .0001] and dietetic approaches [WMD -37.4 h (CI95% -56.1 to -18.7 h), P .0001] were superior compared to the other treatments.

Conclusions: L reuteri DSM 17938 and some dietetic approaches are better to other interventions for treatment of infantile colic.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Colic / therapy*
  • Diet Therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Odds Ratio
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome