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August 1975

Glucocorticoid and Antibiotic Effect on Experimental Gram-Negative Bacteremic Shock

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine, the Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine, and The Surgical Service, Veterans Administration West Side Hospital, Chicago (Ms. Pitcairn and Dr. Schuler), and the Department of Surgery, University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School at Downey (Ill) Veterans Administration Hospital (Drs. Erve, Holtzman, and Schumer).

Arch Surg. 1975;110(8):1012-1015. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360140156030

This study was designed to answer the three following questions: (1) Are glucocorticoids as protective in Gram-negative bacteremic shock as they are in endotoxic shock? (2) Is there any difference in efficacy between a bacteriostatic and a bactericidal antibiotic in bacteremic shock? (3) Does the combination of glucocorticoid with antibiotic potentiate the individual protective effects of both? Bacteremia was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by a single intravenous injection of viable Escherichia coli. The results showed that dexamethasone sodium phosphate alone afforded significant protection against Gram-negative bacteremic shock up to eight hours after challenge. The choice of a bactericidal vs a bacteriostatic antibiotic did not influence the survival rates in this study. The survival rate was maximal when dexamethasone was used with both ampicillin sodium and gentamicin sulfate.

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