What is the role of liver dysfunction in the pathophysiology of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in sepsis?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Ali H Al-Khafaji, MD, MPH, FACP, FCCP, FCCM; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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As a consequence of the role the liver plays in host defense, the abnormal synthetic functions caused by liver dysfunction can contribute to both the initiation and progression of sepsis. The reticuloendothelial system of the liver acts as a first line of defense in clearing bacteria and their products; liver dysfunction leads to a spillover of these products into systemic circulation.

Liver failure (“shocked liver”) can be manifested by elevations in liver enzymes and bilirubin, coagulation defects, and failure to excrete toxins such as ammonia, which lead to worsening encephalopathy.

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