BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine whether bacterial translocation could be demonstrated after experimental hemorrhagic shock in rat and whether translocated bacteria have a pattern of distribution within the major organ system. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to hemorrhagic shock group (group I, n=20), sham shock group (group II, n=20) and normal control group (group III, n=15). At 24, 48, 72 hours after shock, rats were sacrificed and bacteria in their major organs were cultured. RESULTS: The incidence of cultured bacteria in group I were highest. In the group I, enteric bacteria were cultured at mesenteric lymph node of 15 rats (75.0%), liver of 10 rats (50.0%), spleen of 4 rats (20.0%), lung of 4 rats (20.0%), portal vein of 4 rats (20.0%). The most common cultured bacterial species was E. coli. The bacterial translocation seemed to increase significantly in lungs at 48 and 72 hours after shock (p<0.05) and cecal mucosal injury occurred after shock. CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial translocation was induced in hemorrhagic shock model. The identification of cultured organism in major organs supports the bacterial translocation from gut. Hemorrhagic shock could impair mucosal barrier, which may promote bacterial translocation.