Last updated on February 2018

Rifaximin Reduces the Complications of Decompensated Cirrhosis: a Randomized Controlled Trial


Brief description of study

Cirrhotic patients are predisposed to intestinal dysmotility, bacterial overgrowth, and increased intestinal permeability all leading to an increase in bacterial translocation and increased endotoxemia. Rifaximin is an antibiotic that is virtually non-absorbed after oral administration and exhibits broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against both aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms within the gastrointestinal tract. It has been suggested that oral prophylactic antibiotics or bowel decontamination might improve long-term outcomes in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of rifaximin on the complications of advanced cirrhosis.

Detailed Study Description

Cirrhotic patients are predisposed to intestinal dysmotility, bacterial overgrowth, and increased intestinal permeability all leading to an increase in bacterial translocation and increased endotoxemia. Cirrhotics with bacterial translocation and endotoxemia manifest hemodynamic derangement with lower systemic vascular resistance, higher cardiac output, and lower mean arterial pressure. Moreover, endotoxins may increase portal pressure by increasing vascular resistance which may be promoted through the cytokine-stimulated intrahepatic release of endothelin and cyclo-oxygenase products.

Indeed, bacterial infections are common in cirrhotic patients and have approximately 30% mortality at one month and a further 30% mortality at 12 months as documented in a systematic review comprising almost 12 000 patients. It follows that altering gut flora to decrease endotoxin levels may lead to improved prognosis in cirrhosis. Rifaximin is an antibiotic that is virtually non-absorbed after oral administration and exhibits broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against both aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms within the gastrointestinal tract. It has been suggested that oral prophylactic antibiotics or bowel decontamination might improve long-term outcomes in patients with cirrhosis, not only by reducing the risk of infections but also by reducing hepatic vein pressure gradient (HVPG).

The aim of this study was to explore the effect of rifaximin on the complications of advanced cirrhosis.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02190357

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Xin Zeng, MD,PhD

Shanghai changzheng Hospital
Shanghai, China
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Recruitment Status: Open


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