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August 1966

HPO in Clostridial Toxicity and Strangulation Obstruction

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, Northwestern University Medical School and the Columbus-Cuneo Medical Center, Chicago. Dr. Laufman is presently at 111 E 210th St, Bronx, NY 10467.

Arch Surg. 1966;93(2):236-244. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330020028004

THE EXPERIMENTS described in this communication were undertaken for two main purposes: (1) to inquire into the mechanisms of action of hyperbaria (HPO) in anaerobic clostridial infections and (2) to determine the effects, if any, of HPO on the course of experimental intestinal strangulation obstruction.

Previous work1 reported from this laboratory indicated that HPO exerted no detoxifying effect on the cell-free clostridial toxin (lecithinase, the a-exotoxin of Clostridium perfringens). This finding, when viewed in the light of well-known clinical reports on the great efficacy of HPO in the treatment of clostridial anaerobic infections, caused us to conclude that the mechanism of action of HPO on clostridial infections may be that of a blocking agent which prevents the exotoxin from being produced by the bacterial cell; but once the toxin is produced, its toxicity is fixed and is irreversible. The beneficial effects of HPO in clostridial infections, then, would seem

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