Gut translocation of bacteria has been shown in both animal and human studies. Evidence from animal studies that links bacteria translocation to the development of postoperative sepsis and multiple organ failure has yet to be confirmed in humans.
To examine the spectrum of bacteria involved in translocation in surgical patients undergoing laparotomy and to determine the relation between nodal migration of bacteria and the development of postoperative septic complications.
Mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN), serosal scrapings, and peripheral blood from 448 surgical patients undergoing laparotomy were analysed using standard microbiological techniques.
Bacterial translocation was identified in 69 patients (15.4%). The most common organism identified was Escherichia coli (54%). Both enteric bacteria, typical of indigenous intestinal flora, and non-enteric bacteria were isolated. Postoperative septic complications developed in 104 patients (23%). Enteric organisms were responsible in 74% of patients. Forty one per cent of patients who had evidence of bacterial translocation developed sepsis compared with 14% in whom no organisms were cultured (p
Cites: Crit Care Med. 1990 Dec;18(12):1449-562245624