Intestinal dysfunction in liver cirrhosis: Its role in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Jun;16(6):607-12. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1746.2001.02444.x.


Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis is a common illness in patients with cirrhosis and ascites that occurs without any apparent focus of infection. Bacterial translocation plays an important role in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and it is evident from a variety of studies that the gut is a major source of this bacteria. Gut motility alterations, along with bacterial overgrowth and changes in intestinal permeability, probably play a role in this bacterial translocation. The present review looks at the role of the intestine in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis induced by liver cirrhosis and the factors influencing bacterial translocation in this disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Bacterial Translocation
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Free Radicals
  • Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Intestines / physiopathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Peritonitis / etiology*
  • Peritonitis / microbiology
  • Splanchnic Circulation


  • Free Radicals