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September 1996

Immune Function Is More Compromised After Closed Bone Fracture and Hemorrhagic Shock Than Hemorrhage Alone

Author Affiliations

From the Shock and Trauma Research Laboratories, Departments of Surgery (Drs Wichmann, Zellweger, DeMaso, Ayala, and Chaudry), Microbiology (Dr Ayala), Pathology (Dr Williams), and Physiology (Dr Chaudry), Michigan State University, East Lansing. Drs Wichmann, Ayala, and Chaudry are now with the Center for Surgical Research, Brown University School of Medicine and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(9):995-1000. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430210093021

Objective:  To determine whether closed bone fracture in conjunction with hemorrhagic shock compromises immune functions more severely than hemorrhagic shock alone.

Design:  In a randomized, controlled trial, closed bone fracture of the right lower leg and/or hemorrhagic shock (mean±SEM arterial blood pressure, 35±5 mm Hg for 90 minutes) were induced in male C3H/HeN mice (weight, 25 g). Animals subjected to hemorrhage were resuscitated with the shed blood and lactated Ringer solution. At 72 hours after the experiment, all animals were killed to obtain whole blood, splenocytes, and splenic and peritoneal macrophages. Macrophage interleukin-1 and splenocyte interleukin-2 and interleukin-3 release were determined by bioassay, and splenocyte proliferation was measured by tritiated thymidine incorporation.

Results:  Closed bone fracture alone did not affect immune functions 72 hours after the trauma. Hemorrhagic shock, however, induced a significant depression of splenocyte and macrophage functions. Bone fracture followed by hemorrhagic shock further depressed splenocyte proliferation and splenocyte interleukin-2 and interleukin-3 release as well as interleukin-1 release.

Conclusion:  Since bone injury coupled with hemorrhagic shock produces more severe depression of immune functions than hemorrhage alone, bone injury appears to play a contributory role in further depressing immune functions in trauma patients who experience major blood loss.Arch Surg. 1996;131:995-1000