Aim: To investigate by meta-analysis the efficacy of gelatin tannate (GT), a mucosal barrier protector, in children with acute gastroenteritis.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted. Studies were selected according to PICO: Participants: children aged 0-12 years with acute diarrhea; Intervention: GT; Comparison: oral rehydration solution and/or placebo; Outcomes: diarrhea-related outcomes.
Results: Three published randomized controlled trials were identified of pediatric diarrhea treated with GT (n = 203) or control (n = 204). GT significantly (p < 0.01) reduced stool frequency at 12 h in two randomized controlled trials. A significant treatment effect (risk ratio = 0.74; p < 0.01) in favor of GT was found for the exploratory composite outcome of 'diarrhea or liquid stools at 24 h' in three studies. Risk ratios in a single study which reported the percentage of patients with liquid stools at 12, 24 and 48 h favored GT at all time points. No significant differences were found between GT and control for patients with diarrhea at 12 or 24 h or for duration of diarrhea.
Conclusion: GT improved stool frequency and stool consistency in children with acute diarrhea, although further well-controlled studies would be useful to confirm a beneficial treatment effect.
Keywords: diarrhea; gelatin tannate; meta-analysis; pediatrics.