Experimental Evidence of Bacterial Translocation in Trauma

  • Edwin A. Deitch
Conference paper


The intestine performs many functions, including the complex processes of digestion, selective absorption, and secretion. Yet, in addition to these functions, the intestine must also serve as a major defense barrier to prevent bacteria colonizing the gut from invading systemic organs and tissues. Based on epidemiologic studies, the mucosal barrier to bacteria appears to be lost under certain clinical circumstances resulting in systemic sepsis (1,2,3,4). In fact, life-threatening infections with gutassociated bacteria, in which no infective focus can be found even at autopsy, is a major clinical problem in burn patients (5,6), victims of trauma (7) and patients developing the multiple organ failure syndrome (8,9). Although clinical studies performed in the 1960’s (10,11) documented that bacteria and endotoxin originating in the gut may gain access to the systemic circulation in a wide variety of patients, this concept was largely ignored until the middle to late 1970’s.


Xanthine Oxidase Hemorrhagic Shock Mesenteric Lymph Node Mucosal Injury Bacterial Translocation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin A. Deitch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryLouisiana State University Medical CenterShreveportUSA

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