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February 1967

Chemoprophylaxis With Penicillin: Prevention of Bacterial Gangrene in Ischemic Intestine

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis City Hospital, St. Louis.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(2):182-183. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330080020007

SURGICAL operations are performed more and more frequently upon organs which are ischemic either accidentally or by design. The necessity for control of the growth of bacteria within these tissues is obvious. Recent experiments1-4 indicate that adequate tissue levels of appropriate antimicrobial drugs are effective in the prevention of postoperative infection. This experiment was performed to determine whether prior administration of antimicrobial drugs might prevent ischemic gangrene of the intestine caused by obstruction of the mesenteric artery.

Procedure  Using aseptic methods with the dogs under anesthesia induced by sodium pentobarbital administered intravenously, the mesenteric artery was ligated in 22 dogs just distal to the first jejunal branch as described by Liang et al.5 The abdomen was closed and the dogs observed for a period of two to four weeks. Eleven selected at random were given 1,000,000 units of penicillin G in 500 ml of lactated Ringer's solution which

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