Liver Cirrhosis and Intestinal Bacterial Translocation

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Abstract

Intestinal barrier dysfunction, facilitating translocation of bacteria and bacterial products, plays an important role in the pathophysiology of liver cirrhosis and its complications. Intestinal defense system including microbial barrier, immunologic barrier, mechanical barrier, chemical barrier, plays an important role in the maintenance of intestinal function. Under normal circumstances, the intestinal barrier can prevent intestinal bacteria through the intestinal wall from spreading to the body. Severe infection, trauma, shock, cirrhosis, malnutrition, immune suppression conditions, intestinal bacteria and endotoxin translocation, can lead to multiple organ dysfunction. The intestinal microflora is not only involved in the digestion of nutrients, but also in local immunity, forming a barrier against pathogenic microorganisms. The derangement of the gut microflora may lead to microbial translocation, defined as the passage of viable microorganisms or bacterial products from the intestinal lumen to the mesenteric lymph nodes and other extraintestinal sites. In patients with cirrhosis, primary and intestinal flora imbalance, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, intestinal mucosal barrier dysfunction, endotoxemia is associated with weakened immunity.

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