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J Infect Dis. 2000 Aug;182(2):526-33. Epub 2000 Jul 24.

In vivo neutrophil dysfunction in cirrhotic patients with advanced liver disease.

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Surgical Infections Unit, Department of Surgery, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio MaraƱon, Madrid, Spain.


Bacterial infections are frequent, life-threatening complications in cirrhotic patients. This study investigated in vivo neutrophil migration and phagocytic activity in cirrhotic patients with advanced liver disease, in liver transplant recipients, and in healthy volunteers, by use of the skin window technique. Complement receptor type III (CR3) expression was also measured in blood and elicited neutrophils. Neutrophil migration to skin windows and neutrophil in vivo phagocytosis of heat-killed Escherichia coli were significantly decreased in cirrhotic patients compared with healthy controls. Neutrophil migration and phagocytosis were decreased in cirrhotic patients with previous episodes of bacterial infection compared with noninfected patients. Expression of CR3 in circulating neutrophils was significantly higher in cirrhotic patients, whereas it was significantly reduced in elicited neutrophils of cirrhotic patients with previous bacterial infection. These data suggest that deficient neutrophil recruitment to the infection site and impaired phagocytic activity may contribute to bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients with advanced liver disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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