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Blood Purif. 2010;29(2):130-6. doi: 10.1159/000245639. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

The gut: the forgotten organ in uremia?

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Nephrology Section, University Hospital, Gent, Belgium.


Part of the uremic retention solutes are generated in the intestine, but this option is rarely discussed in the literature. In this publication, we describe consecutively the role of the intestine in generating uremic retention solutes, the pathophysiological importance of the generated solutes and therapeutic options that are inspired by this knowledge. Apart from its role as a route via which uremic toxins or their precursors enter the body, the intestine also acts as an active player by presenting more precursors for fermentation due to disturbances in assimilation caused by uremia, followed by alterations in further processing related to changes in the composition of the fermenting flora. Many of the toxins generated or introduced into the body via the intestine (advanced glycation end products, indoles, phenols) play an active role in vascular damage. Intestinal therapeutic interventions that could help decrease solute concentration are restriction of dietary intake, however at the expense of increasing the risk of malnutrition, rerouting of intestinal metabolism by administration of prebiotics or probiotics and/ or the administration of active sorbents such as AST-120 (Kremezin).

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