The effect of septic shock on skeletal muscle action potentials in the primate

Donald Trunkey, H. Illner, I. Y. Wagner, G. Tom Shires

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36 Scopus citations


Techniques developed for the in vivo study of cellular physiology have been applied to septic shock in primates. Measurements of skeletal muscle transmembrane resting and action potentials were correlated with an analysis of fluid and electrolyte changes in the intracellular and extracellular compartments of skeletal muscle. The data obtained indicated a marked depletion of muscle extracellular water and an increase in intracellular sodium chloride and water content during shock. The significant decrease of resting membrane potential was associated with a decrease in amplitude of the action potential and prolongation of both the repolarization and depolarization time. In addition, there was a decrease of muscle intracellular potassium concentration during shock. This study demonstrates that the alterations in cellular membranes in hemorrhagic shock and septic shock are similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Trunkey, D., Illner, H., Wagner, I. Y., & Shires, G. T. (1979). The effect of septic shock on skeletal muscle action potentials in the primate. Surgery, 85(6), 638-643.