Indian Journal of Surgery

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 479–484 | Cite as

Bacteriobilia in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery: an Enemy or a Friend in Disguise?

  • Rajvilas Narkhede
  • Gunjan DesaiEmail author
  • Prasad Pande
Review Article


Bacterial colonization of bile, known as bacteriobilia, is predisposed by biliary obstruction and/or biliary interventions. It can lead to an increase in postoperative infective complications through impairment of hepatic synthetic and immunological function and breakdown of intestinal mucosal barrier. However, various reports of bacteremia and increase in infective complications have not been translated into increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. Biliary interventions, including preoperative biliary drainage, have been shown to increase the rates of bacteriobilia, and in turn positive biliary cultures. However, the clinical implication of this biliary colonization and strategies to prevent postoperative infective complications are not well understood. Bacteriobilia may be difficult to prevent completely due to its occurrence from non-modifiable risk factors. However, sparing use of biliary interventions and early identification and treatment of bacteriobilia with culture-directed antibiotics can help prevent catastrophic postoperative infective complications. It is necessary for this culture-based practice to become part of a routine protocol, and every step must be taken to prevent bacteriobilia, and thereby avoid postoperative infective complications and optimize patient outcome.


Bacteriobilia Bile culture Biliary contamination Preoperative biliary drainage 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12262_2019_1933_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association of Surgeons of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryDr. Balabhai Nanavati Superspeciality HospitalNavi MumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryLilavati Hospital and Research CenterMumbaiIndia

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