Published online Oct 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i40.14686
Revised: April 27, 2014
Accepted: June 2, 2014
Published online: October 28, 2014
Core tip: Features of gut dysfunction are common in patients with cirrhosis and may have an impact on quality of life and nutritional status as well as contribute to the development of cirrhosis complications. Cirrhotic patients often report gastrointestinal symptoms. Their pathophysiology is complex, probably involving factors related to liver disease severity, psychological distress, and increased gastric sensitivity to distension as well as delayed gut transit. The latter is common in cirrhosis and may be related to postprandial glucose and hormone disturbances due to insulin resistance. Intestinal barrier dysfunction, potentially leading to bacterial translocation and permeation of bacterial products, has been frequently reported in cirrhotic patients, especially those with portal hypertension.