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Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: A case-control study

Ghoshal UC, Yadav A, Fatima B, Agrahari AP, Misra A Published Aug 2021, in the Indian Journal of Gastroenterology.


Background: Though small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is known in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the data on it are scanty and have limitations. Methods: Data on IBD patients undergoing glucose hydrogen breath test (GHBT) were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the frequency and risk factors of SIBO in IBD compared to 66 healthy controls. Results: Patients with IBD (n=86; 45 ulcerative colitis [UC] and 41 Crohn's disease [CD]) more often had SIBO on GHBT than the healthy subjects (16/86 [18.6%] vs. 1/66 [1.5%]; p=0.002). SIBO was commoner among patients with CD than UC (14/41 [34.1%] vs. 2/45 [4.4%]; p=0.001). The frequency of SIBO among UC patients was comparable to healthy subjects (2/45 [4.4%] vs. 1/66 [1.5%]; p=not significant [NS]). Patients with CD than those with UC had higher values of maximum breath hydrogen and a greater area under the curve for breath hydrogen. Other factors associated with SIBO included female gender (11/16 [68.8%] with vs. 21/70 [30%] without SIBO; p=0.003), and having undergone surgery (8/16 [50%] vs. 6/70 [8.6%]; p=0.0002). SIBO patients had lower levels of total serum protein and albumin than those without SIBO (6.2 ± 1.5 g/dL vs. 7.0 ± 0.9 g/dL, respectively; p=0.009 and 3.5 ± 0.9 g/dL vs. 4.0 ± 0.6 g/dL, respectively; p=0.02). CD, female gender, and surgery for IBD tended to be the independent factors associated with SIBO among IBD patients on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Patients with IBD, particularly CD, female, and those having undergone surgery, have a higher risk of SIBO than the healthy controls.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Dysbiosis; Gut aspirate culture; Gut microbiota; Harvey-Bradshaw score; Hydrogen breath test; Rifaximin; Ulcerative colitis.


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