After major liver resection, bacterial infectious complications, including sepsis and endotoxemia, can be at least in part, attributed to translocation of enteric bacteria and endotoxin. We evaluated the effectiveness of the enterai and parenteral administration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in preventing bacterial translocation after 70% liver resection in rats with thioacetamide-induced-cirrhosis. Bacterial translocation after hepatectomy was induced by a disturbance of protein metabolism in intestinal epithelial cells. However, the administration of BCAA, particularly via the enterai route, improved amino acid metabolism in the gut and stimulated the synthesis of nonsecreted protein and the proliferation of crypt cells, thereby preventing bacterial translocation after liver resection. Improvement in this cascade of metabolic reactions is believed to have been responsible for the improved outcome after extensive resection of the cirrhotic liver.
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