Gut failure in critical care: old school versus new school

Authors Eleni Sertaridou, Vasilios Papaioannou, George Kolios, Ioannis Pneumatikos.


The concept of bacterial translocation and gut-origin sepsis as causes of systemic infectious complications and multiple organ deficiency syndrome in surgical and critically ill patients has been a recurring issue over the last decades attracting the scientific interest. Although gastrointestinal dysfunction seemingly arises frequently in intensive care unit patients, it is usually underdiagnosed or underestimated, because the pathophysiology involved is incompletely understood and its exact clinical relevance still remains controversial with an unknown yet probably adverse impact on the patients' outcome. The purpose of this review is to define gut-origin sepsis and related terms, to describe the mechanisms leading to gut-derived complications, and to illustrate the therapeutic options to prevent or limit these untoward processes.

Keywords Gut failure, bacterial translocation, selective gut decontamination, immunonutrition

Ann Gastroenterol 2015; 28 (3): 307-320

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