Microbiota changes and intestinal microbiota transplantation in liver diseases and cirrhosis

Jasmohan S. Bajaj, Alexander Khoruts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Patients with chronic liver disease and cirrhosis demonstrate a global mucosal immune impairment, which is associated with altered gut microbiota composition and functionality. These changes progress along with the advancing degree of cirrhosis and can be linked with hepatic encephalopathy, infections and even prognostication independent of clinical biomarkers. Along with compositional changes, functional alterations to the microbiota, related to short-chain fatty acids, bioenergetics and bile acid metabolism, are also associated with cirrhosis progression and outcomes. Altering the functional and structural profile of the microbiota is partly achieved by medications used in patients with cirrhosis such as rifaximin, lactulose, proton pump inhibitors and other antibiotics. However, the role of faecal or intestinal microbiota transplantation is increasingly being recognised. Herein, we review the challenges, opportunities and road ahead for the appropriate and safe use of intestinal microbiota transplantation in liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1027
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partly supported by 2I0CX001076 VA Merit Review, NCATS R21TR002024 and AHRQ RO1HS025412 to JSB

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 European Association for the Study of the Liver


  • Alcohol
  • Bile acids
  • Faecal microbiota transplant
  • Gut-brain-axis
  • Gut-liver-axis
  • Hepatic encephalopathy


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