The emerging role of the gut in chronic heart failure.
Chronic heart failure is a multisystem disease with increased sympathetic tone, an anabolic/catabolic dysbalance, and chronic inflammation. Recent studies suggest an altered morphology, permeability, and absorption of the digestive tract in chronic heart failure. Due to nonocclusive mesenterial ischaemia and disturbed intestinal microcirculation, bacterial endotoxin is thought to enter the bloodstream through the hypoperfused, oedematous gut wall, thereby triggering an inflammatory response. Circulating cytokines act as cardiosuppressors. Their plasma levels predict increased mortality in chronic heart failure.
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