Author(s): Strauss E
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Abstract INTRODUCTION. Bacterial infection in cirrhotic patients is a severe complication that requires early recognition and specific therapeutic care. MATERIAL AND METHODS. In this review the various aspects of diagnosis and management of infections that may impact survival in cirrhosis are analyzed. RESULTS. Active search for infections allows early detection and its treatment with suitable antibiotics has reduced mortality rates in spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, the main infection in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Other common infections, such as bacteremia and septicemia or urinary tract, lung, skin and soft tissue infections must be thoroughly investigated so that antibiotic treatment can be started early. As intestinal bacterial translocation is one of the most important mechanisms for development of bacterial infections, selective intestinal decontamination is able to prevent these infections in populations at risk. After the first episode of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, poorly absorbed oral antibiotics, such as quinolones, must be started and continued. Moreover, when there is upper gastrointestinal bleeding, infection prevention should be based on oral administration of quinolones or intravenous administration of cephalosporins, both for seven days, to avoid morbidity and early lethality. With the advent of resistance to commonly used antibiotics and recent reports of multiresistant bacteria, there is a need for stricter control when administering antibiotics to cirrhotic patients. CONCLUSION. Existing knowledge of therapy and prophylaxis for bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients, which undoubtedly improve survival, should be disseminated and applied in clinical practice for the benefit of the population at large.
This article was published in Ann Hepatol
and referenced in Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis