Myocardial depression in sepsis

James Raffa, Donald Trunkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Myocardial failure is uniformly fatal when associated with post-traumatic sepsis and multisystem failure. Controversy exists as to whether endotoxin has a direct effect on the myocardium. A nonanoxic isolated arterially perfused rabbit interventicular septum was used in this study to evaluate the effects of endotoxin, live E. coli, and endotoxin/septic shock plasma on myocardial function and ultrastructure. Purified E. coli endotoxin and live E. coli bacteria did not have a significant direct effect on rabbit cardiac muscle function or ultrastructure. Perfusion of the rabbit septum with plasma from rabbits exsanguinated following a 2-hour septic or endotoxin shock insult, however, caused significant (p <0.02) myocardial depression when compared with control septa perfused with normal rabbit plasma. Septa perfused with shock plasma demonstrated ultrastructural alterations of mitochondria that were not noted in control preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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