Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundHepatic cyst infection is a complication of polycystic liver disease (PLD) that causes substantial morbidity. Repetitive infection is frequent and is increasingly difficult to treat. As translocated gut bacteria are considered the cause, we hypothesize that selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) reduces recurrence of hepatic cyst infection.MethodsWe performed a retrospective, observational study in two referral centres. All patients with PLD treated with SDD for hepatic cyst infection were included. Efficacy was determined by calculating the infection incidence (hepatic cyst infections per month) before and during SDD therapy. Adverse events were scored according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE).ResultsWe identified eight patients who received SDD (88% female, 88% polycystic kidney disease). The median age was 65 years (IQR: 51-74 years). SDD lowered the median incidence from 0.09 episodes per month (IQR: 0.06-0.25 episodes per month) to 0.01 episodes per month (IQR: 0.00-0.05 episodes per month) (P = 0.12). Discontinuation of SDD led to rapid recurrence of cyst infection (71% within 6 weeks). SDD consisted of polymyxins with/without aminoglycosides. The median SDD treatment duration was 20 months (range: 3-89 months). Six patients (75%) developed adverse events [CTCAE Grade 1 (gastrointestinal: n = 3) or Grade 3 (ototoxicity: n = 1; fungal infection: n = 1)], mostly attributable to aminoglycosides; one patient developed polymyxin E resistance.ConclusionsSDD prophylaxis provides a novel strategy for limiting recurrent hepatic cyst infection in PLD patients. However, adverse events are frequent and curtail its use. As most were attributable to aminoglycosides, polymyxin E is considered the preferred therapy.

Original publication





The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy

Publication Date





2666 - 2669


Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Gastrointestinal Tract, Humans, Cross Infection, Cysts, Liver Diseases, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Retrospective Studies, Decontamination, Aged, Intensive Care Units, Female, Male