The presence of bacteria in the lumen of an obstructed bowel is necessary for the production of the lethal substances that produce the toxemia of acute intestinal obstruction. This bacterial origin of the toxin in the content of the obstructed bowel is being universally accepted. It has been amply proved by the investigations of Murphy and Vincent,1 Murphy and Brooks,2 Brooks, Schumacher and Wattenberg,3 Dragstedt, Moorhead and Burcky,4 Dragstedt and Moorhead,5 and Dragstedt, Dragstedt, McClintock and Chase.6
The exact nature of the toxins formed in the obstructed bowel is not known. In 1918 Dragstedt, Dragstedt and Chase7 concluded that no immune bodies are produced following the repeated injection of fluid from obstructed loops of bowel into the veins of rabbits. A further conclusion from their study was that the toxic properties of this fluid are probably not of protein nature. Before these workers
THURSTON HF. THE RÔLE OF TOXIN OF BACILLUS WELCHII IN THE TOXEMIA OF ACUTE INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Arch Surg. 1931;22(1):72–85. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1931.01160010075003
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