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Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Jun;50(6):1136-40.

Increased orocecal transit time in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO) has been suggested to play a pathogenic role in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Delayed intestinal transit may contribute to IBO development. Ten nondiabetic patients with NAFLD and abnormal liver enzymes were recruited. Ten healthy individuals, matched by sex, age, and body mass index, were used as controls. Orocecal transit time (OCTT) was measured by the lactulose breath test. Anti-endotoxin core antibodies (EndoCAb) were determined. The effect of oral norfloxacin (400 mg BID during 2 weeks) on liver enzymes, lactulose breath test, and EndoCAb was also studied. NAFLD patients had higher basal breathed H2 and prolonged OCTT compared to controls (127 +/- 61 vs. 57 +/- 23 min, respectively; P = 0.0037). EndoCAb titers were similar in NAFLD patients and controls. Norfloxacin administration had no effect on ALT levels, lactulose breath test, or EndoCAb titers in patients with NAFLD. The present data show evidence of deranged intestinal motility in nondiabetic patients with NAFLD and support the hypothesis that NAFLD could be linked to endotoxin-induced liver damage of intestinal origin.

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