Blood in the gastrointestinal tract may produce changes in the concentration of some of the chemical constituents of human plasma. It is well known that urea nitrogen concentration increases in the blood after gastrointestinal bleeding.1 The concentration of blood ammonia rises significantly after gastrointestinal hemorrhage in patients with cirrhosis or other forms of portal obstruction, but does not increase in most patients without severe liver disease or portal hypertension.1-3 This elevation in blood ammonia can be minimized or prevented by administration of broad spectrum antibiotics by mouth.1,4 Blood in the gastrointestinal tract per se does not cause increased retention of sulfobromophthalein (Bromsulfalein).4
The experiments reported here were carried out to determine if the presence of blood in the gastrointestinal tract would affect the concentrations or activities of other constituents of the serum, particularly those which are affected by impaired liver function. The concentrations or activities in
SHIFFMAN MA, KARLAN MS, SNYDER WH, KAPLAN SA. Gastrointestinal Instillation Of Blood: Effects on Liver Functions and Urea Nitrogen in Normal Dogs. Arch Surg. 1964;89(3):411–416. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320030001001
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