Background: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is regarded as the major risk factor of bacterial translocation. Few studies have investigated the direct relation between SIBO and translocation in cirrhotic patients. The purpose of this study is to examine the correlation between SIBO and bacterial DNA in the peripheral blood of patients with cirrhosis.
Aims: The purpose of this study is to examine the correlation between SIBO and bacterial DNA in the peripheral blood of patients with cirrhosis.
Methods: Fifty-three cirrhosis cases and 42 controls underwent a lactulose breath test (LBT) every 15 min for 180 min. To detect and identify the presence of bacterial DNA fragments in peripheral blood, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed.
Results: The positive rate of LBT was significantly different between the two groups: 60.4% in the patient group and 28.6% in the controls. The SIBO positive rate was 81.3% in the cirrhosis patients with ascites, which was significantly higher than 51.4% in the cirrhosis patients with no ascites (P = 0.03). Eight of the nine patients (88.9%) who had a history of one or more hepatic encephalopathy was SIBO-positive, which was higher than the patients who had had no hepatic encephalopathy. In the cirrhosis group, 32 patients (60.4%) were SIBO-positive, and ten of them (31.3%) were bacterial DNA-positive. Only one case (4.8%) was bacterial DNA-positive in the absence of SIBO-positive. In a multivariate analysis, only the existence of SIBO was the independent risk factor for bacterial DNA (P = 0.026).
Conclusions: SIBO in cirrhosis patients was observed at a very high frequency, and SIBO showed a high correlation with bacterial translocation, suggesting that SIBO could be a major risk factor of bacterial translocation, especially in ascitic patients.