JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Physiopathology of bacterial translocation and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhosis]

Rosario González Alonso, Mónica González García, Agustín Albillos Martínez
Gastroenterología y Hepatología 2007, 30 (2): 78-84
17335715
The key pathogenic mechanism initiating spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is bacterial translocation (BT), a process through which enteric bacteria cross the intestinal barrier and infect the mesenteric lymph nodes, thus entering the blood circulation and ascitic fluid. The high rate of bacterial translocation in cirrhosis is due to injury to the three pilars composing the intestinal mucosal barrier (the balance of intraluminal bacterial flora, the integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier, and the local immune system). Blood dissemination and microbial growth in ascitic fluid resulting from SBP are a consequence of damage to the immune system in cirrhosis. Hyperproduction of proinflammatory cytokines and other vasoactive substances contributes to the arterial vasodilation and renal failure that frequently complicate the course of SBP. Even in the absence of SBP, translocation of bacteria and bacterial products from the intestinal lumen contribute to systemic inactivation of immune cells in cirrhosis.

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