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June 1972

Experimental Fecal Peritonitis: Influence of Barium Sulfate or Water-Soluble Radiographic Contrast Material on Survival

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(6):765-768. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180060015003

Experimental colonic rupture in rabbits followed by an enema of barium sulfate or water-soluble radiographic contrast media was, without treatment, uniformly fatal. Surgical repair of the colonic rupture and peritoneal lavage resulted in only 10% survival in animals with peritonitis due to feces mixed with barium. Fifty percent of animals with peritonitis due to feces mixed with water-soluble media, and in which surgical repair was performed promptly, survived. These results suggest that water-soluble contrast materials be more strongly considered for employment when a contrast enema is considered indicated during acute-phase abdominal illness.

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