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Hepatology. 1997 Jun;25(6):1334-7.

Influence of malnutrition on the prevalence of bacterial translocation and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in experimental cirrhosis in rats.

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Hepato-Gastroenterology, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain.


Bacterial translocation (BT) has been involved in the pathogenesis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) in experimental cirrhosis. Because malnutrition is a common feature in cirrhosis, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nutrition on BT and SBP. We induced cirrhosis in 44 Sprague-Dawley rats by administration of oral CCl4, and, afterward, 26 animals were maintained with dietary restriction. Cultures of mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN), peripheral and portal blood, liver, and spleen were performed. SBP occurred in 48% of the rats with ascites, this being more frequent in the malnourished animals (80%) than in control rats (29%). BT appeared in all the rats with SBP (100%) but only in 57% without it. In the malnourished animals, the BT rate was 95%, while it was 30% in the control group. These results suggest that malnutrition increases the BT rate and the risk of developing SBP in experimental cirrhosis, and that BT is frequent in cirrhosis and may play a role in the development of SBP.

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