[Skip to Content]
Sign In
Individual Sign In
Create an Account
Institutional Sign In
OpenAthens Shibboleth
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1986

Multiple-Organ Failure and Sepsis Without BacteriaAn Experimental Model

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of General Surgery (Drs Goris, Boekholtz, van Bebber, and Nuytinck) and Pathologic Anatomy (Dr Schillings), University Hospital St Radboud, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Arch Surg. 1986;121(8):897-901. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400080039006

• Multiple-organ failure is generally attributed to bacterial infection, although a correlation with positive blood cultures is not consistently found. Consequently, we studied the effects of a local nonbacterial inflammatory stimulus on distant organ functions and metabolism. Wistar rats were inoculated intraperitoneally with zymosan. Heart and ventilatory rates, oxygen consumption, and body temperature were measured. Survivors were killed at day 12 for blood analysis, weighing of organs, and microscopy. Intraperitoneal zymosan resulted in an early hyperdynamic "septic" response with a 35% mortality. After a few days, oxygen consumption decreased, serum lactate levels increased, and the function of multiple organs deteriorated, while blood cultures remained sterile. The experiment was repeated in germ-free rats with similar results but a lower mortality. We concluded that a severe inflammatory response in itself is capable of inducing multiple-organ failure with "sepsis."

(Arch Surg 1986;121:897-901)

Ashbaugh DG, Petty TL:  Sepsis complicating the acute respiratory distress syndrome . Surg Gynecol Obstet 1972;135:865-868.
Goris RJA, teBoekhorst T, Nuytinck JKS:  Multiple organ failure: Generalized autodestructive inflammation? Arch Surg 1985;120:1109-1115.Article
Wichterman KA, Baue AE, Chaudry IH:  Sepsis and septic shock: A review of laboratory models and a proposal . J Surg Res 1980;29:189-201.Article
Lang CH, Bagby GJ, Bornside GH, et al:  Sustained hypermetabolic sepsis in rats: Characterization of the model . J Surg Res 1983;35:201-210.Article
Oh GR, Mela-Riker LM, Bryant RE, et al:  A new experimental model of chronic high-output sepsis . Circ Shock 1984;13:99.
Kirton OC, Jones R, Zapol WM, et al:  The development of a model of subacute lung injury after intra-abdominal infection . Surgery 1984;96:384-394.
Joyce LD, Hau T, Hoffman R, et al:  Evaluation of the mechanism of zymosan-induced resistance to experimental peritonitis . Surgery 1978;83: 717-725.