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August 1987

Oxygen Free Radicals in Shock

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edited by G. P. Novelli and F. Ursini, 298 pp, $89, New York, S Karger AG, 1986.

Arch Surg. 1987;122(8):961. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1987.01400200111035

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Galen, of course, oversold bad bile as a cause of disease. Many times since then, others have fallen into the same trap of seeking a single toxin to explain complex syndromes. Even Walter B. Cannon was taken in by histamine as the cause of shock. Now it is the turn of superoxide to be the suspected culprit in shock and related conditions. Like the optimistic gold miner who keeps thinking "this time I may be on to the real thing," it seems as though oxygen free radicals are central in the pathogenesis of many low-flow and posttraumatic states. Certainly, the international group of more than 100 authors of the 37 works in this volume thinks so and has presented a lot of evidence to support its beliefs.

Superoxide and superoxide dismutase enthusiasts are in enclaves in the United States (Alabama, Denver, Baltimore, etc). In Italy, whence this book arose, they

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