It is now generally recognized that death in cases of intestinal obstruction is due to the establishment of a toxemia. Two main theories have been advocated to account for the formation of the toxin concerned. One group of investigators1 believes that the toxin is elaborated by a perversion of function of the mucosa cells lining the obstructed loop; the other group2 assumes that the bacterial flora within the loop is responsible. The weight of experimental evidence to date is difficult to evaluate, but a communication by William3 demands that we investigate a known bacterial toxin which may possibly have a bearing on the problem. Williams thinks that the toxemia results from the absorption of Bacillus welchii toxin. He gives evidence of the proliferation of the organism in the small bowel in cases of obstruction, and likewise of the presence of the toxin by the injection of the
MORTON JJ, STABINS SJ. RELATION OF BACILLUS WELCHII ANTITOXIN TO THE TOXEMIA OF INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION: EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES. Arch Surg. 1928;17(5):860–871. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140110149008
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