Effect of liver transplantation on intestinal permeability and correlation with infection episodes

Francesca Romana Ponziani, Venanzio Valenza, Erida Nure, Giuseppe Bianco, Giuseppe Marrone, Antonio Grieco, Maurizio Pompili, Antonio Gasbarrini, Salvatore Agnes, Gabriele Sganga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Liver cirrhosis has been known to be associated with increased intestinal permeability (IP); however, little is known about the modification of IP after liver transplantation (LT). The present study was aimed to assess IP after LT and evaluated its association with laboratory tests and clinical parameters, as well as with the development of infections. Methods LT recipients were consecutively enrolled and compared with an equal number of patients with liver cirrhosis and healthy subjects. IP was assessed by urinary excretion of chromium- 51 ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (51Cr-EDTA). Results The median 51Cr-EDTA excretion was found to be higher in 35 LT recipients as compared with that in the healthy controls [4.77% (2.79-6.03) vs. 2.07% (1.57-2.42), p<0.0001], and comparable to that in the cirrhotic patients [3.69% (2.34-6.57), p = 0.445]. 51Cr-EDTA excretion was not associated with clinical variables, the type of immunosuppressive therapy, donor-related factors, comorbidities and incidence of infections [infection/no infection: 4.97% (3.14-7.03) vs 4.62% (2.79-5.82), p = 0.938]. Conclusion LT recipients show an increased IP, similar to that in patients with liver cirrhosis. However, it is not associated with a high risk of infections. Further investigations into the pathogenesis of this persistent impairment of the intestinal barrier are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0235359
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6 June
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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