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Transl Res. 2017 Jan;179:49-59. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Gut microbiome and liver disease.

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Microbiome Analysis Center, George Mason University, Manassas, Va.
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, Va. Electronic address:


Gut microbiota changes are important in determining the occurrence and progression of chronic liver disease related to alcohol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. Specifically, the systemic inflammation, endotoxemia, and the vasodilation that leads to complications such as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatic encephalopathy could be related to the gut milieu. Given the poor prognosis of these events, their prevention and early management are essential. Microbiota may be an essential component of the gut milieu that can impact these clinical events, and the study of their composition and function in a culture-independent manner could help understand the prognosis. Recent human and animal studies have shown that the relative abundance and the functional changes of microbiota in the stool, colonic mucosa, and saliva have varying consequences on the presence and prognosis of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The impact of therapies on the microbiota is slowly being understood and will likely lead to a more targeted approach to gut microbiota modification in chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

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