Syst Rev. 2022 Aug 30;11(1):181. doi: 10.1186/s13643-022-02059-3.
BACKGROUND: Microbiome-targeted therapies (MTTs), including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), have been proposed as a potential treatment for cirrhosis via modulation of gut microbiome, while the impact of gut microflora alteration on liver function in cirrhosis trajectory is unclear, and no related systematic review has been published. We aim to comprehensively assess the effects of MTTs in patients with liver cirrhosis.
METHODS: We will search databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) with no time restriction. Only randomized controlled trials published in English will be included. Two independent reviewers will be responsible for study identification and selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment, with discrepancies resolved by consensus or referral to a third author. Heterogeneity of studies will be examined using Cochrane Q-test and I2 statistics. The data will be pooled using either a fixed- or random-effects model based on I2 statistics. The results will be presented as risk ratios (RR) or mean differences (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We will perform subgroup analysis on the type of MTTs and assess the reporting biases. Sensitivity analysis will be conducted to test the stability of each outcome result.
DISCUSSION: There is no current study about the role of MTTs in developing the liver function, and the therapeutic effects of MTTs are inconsistent. By investigating the liver-specific indicators when treating with multiple MTTs on course of cirrhosis, our findings will give more conclusive and stronger evidence about the efficacy of MTTs and provide new insight into the action mechanisms of these MTTs.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42021253198.