The gastrointestinal tract in critical illness

Hank Schmidt, Robert Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The gut has often been suggested to be one of the essential factors in the pathogenesis of many nosocomial infections and possibly multi-organ failure. In the light of several recent studies, the importance of normal gut bacterial flora and the role of the gastrointestinal tract in human immune function are now better understood. It now seems clear that stimulation of gut-associated lymphoid tissue through enteral feeding is the key to the preservation of mucosal-derived immunity; however, the role of this native gastrointestinal immune function in the subsequent development of sepsis and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome remains the subject of ongoing study.


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