The intestinal mucosa is responsible for the absorption of nutrients from the lumen. In addition, it has the challenging task to provide an effective barrier between the potentially toxic luminal content (external environment) and the host (internal environment). Intestinal barrier loss plays a key role in the development and perpetuation of a variety of intestinal disease states. It is involved in the onset of sepsis and multiple organ failure and can be caused by intestinal hypoperfusion. This review will focus on the current insights into gut barrier integrity and function loss, which is important in order to improve our knowledge on disease aetiology and may contribute to early detection or prevention of sepsis.
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