BackgroundBacterial translocation from the gut has been suggested to induce a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and organ dysfunction. The liver has a pivotal role in eliminating circulating bacteria entering from the gut. We investigated whether pre-existing inflammation affects hepatic bacterial elimination.
MethodsFifteen anaesthetised piglets were infused with E. coli in the portal vein for 3?h. The naive group (n?=?6) received the bacterial infusion without endotoxin exposure. SIRS (SIRS group, n?=?6) was induced by endotoxin infusion 24?h before the bacterial infusion. For effects of anaesthesia, controls (n?=?3) received saline instead of endotoxin for 24?h. Bacterial counts and endotoxin levels in the portal and hepatic veins were analysed during bacterial infusion.
ResultsThe bacterial killing rate was higher in the naive group compared with the SIRS group (p?=?0.001). The ratio of hepatic to portal venous bacterial counts, i.e. the median bacterial influx from the splanchnic circulation, was 0.06 (IQR 0.01-0.11) in the naive group and 0.71 (0.03-1.77) in the SIRS group at 3?h, and a magnitude lower in the naive group during bacteraemia (p?=?0.03). Similar results were seen for hepatic endotoxin elimination. Peak log tumour necrosis factor alpha was higher in the naive 4.84 (4.77-4.89) vs. the SIRS group 3.27 (3.26-3.32) mg/L (p?ConclusionsOur results suggest that hepatic bacterial and endotoxin elimination is impaired in pigs with pre-existing SIRS while the inflammatory response to bacterial infusion is diminished. If similar mechanisms operate in human critical illness, the hepatic elimination of bacteria from the gut could be impaired by SIRS.
SUBMITTER: Hanslin K