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J Hepatol. 2001 Jan;34(1):32-7.

Bacterial translocation of enteric organisms in patients with cirrhosis.

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Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Spain.



The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence and associated risk factors for bacterial translocation in patients with cirrhosis, a mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections in experimental cirrhosis.


Mesenteric lymph nodes were obtained for microbiological culture from 101 patients with cirrhosis and from 35 non-cirrhotic patients.


Enteric organisms were grown from mesenteric lymph nodes in 8.6% of non-cirrhotic patients. In the 79 cirrhotic patients without selective intestinal decontamination, the prevalence of bacterial translocation significantly increased according to the Child-Pugh classification: 3.4% in Child A, 8.1% in Child B and 30.8% in Child C patients (chi2 = 6.106, P < 0.05). However, translocation by Enterobacteriaceae, the organisms commonly responsible for spontaneous bacteremia and peritonitis in cirrhosis, was only observed in 25% of the cases. The prevalence of bacterial translocation in the 22 cirrhotic patients undergoing selective intestinal decontamination, all Child-Pugh class B and C, was 4.5%. The Child-Pugh score was the only independent predictive factor for bacterial translocation (odds ratio 2.22, P = 0.02).


Translocation of enteric organisms to mesenteric lymph nodes is increased in patients with advanced cirrhosis and is reduced to the level found in non-cirrhotic patients by selective intestinal decontamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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