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February 1966

Brain as Target Organ in Clostridium Perfringens Exotoxin Toxicity

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and Columbus-Cuneo Medical Center, Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(2):243-246. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320200083012

THE SUCCESS achieved with hyperbaria in the treatment of anaerobic bacterial infections has explained neither the mechanism of anaerobic toxicity, nor the mode of action of the treatment. Investigations in both of these areas are being pursued in our laboratory. The present study is one of a series on the mechanism of clostridial toxicity (exotoxin shock).

It has long been believed that certain vital organs play a more critical role in clostridial toxicity than do others. The concept of target organ toxicity, whether applied to exotoxin or endotoxin shock, is not new, but the evidence thus far accumulated to support this concept is not conclusive. It is evident that all vital organs are affected to varying degrees by any toxicity, but the possibility remains that the effects on specific organs may decide the nature of the clinical response, and consequently affect the treatment.

A number of isolated findings, if taken

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