Bacterial infections are frequent in cirrhotic patients with acute decompensation or acute-on-chronic liver failure and can complicate the clinical course. Delayed diagnosis and inappropriate empirical treatments are associated with poor prognosis and increased mortality. Fungal infections are much less frequent, usually nosocomial and associated with extremely high short-term mortality. Early diagnosis and adequate empirical treatment of infections is therefore key in the management of these patients. In recent decades, antibiotic resistance has become a major worldwide problem in patients with cirrhosis, warranting a more complex approach to antibiotic treatment that includes the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, new administration strategies, novel drugs and de-escalation policies. Herein, we review epidemiological changes, the main types of multidrug-resistant organisms, mechanisms of resistance, new rapid diagnostic tools and currently available therapeutic options for bacterial and fungal infections in cirrhosis.
Javier Fernández, Salvatore Piano, Michele Bartoletti, Emmanuel Q Wey