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Circ Shock. 1988 Nov;26(3):227-35.

Antithrombin-III prevents the lethal effects of Escherichia coli infusion in baboons.

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  • 1Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, Oklahoma City 73104.


Infusion of Escherichia coli (LD100) was followed by coagulopathic and cell injury responses, cardiovascular collapse, and death in 18 to 32 hr in four out of four baboons. Infusion of AT-III in sufficient amounts to achieve AT-III levels of more than 4 units/ml of plasma before and during the infusion of E. coli reduced the intensity of the coagulopathic and cell injury response and prevented vascular collapse and death in four out of four baboons. Failure to achieve AT-III levels of more than six units/ml at T +60 min during the infusion of E. coli resulted in failure to prevent its lethal effects in three out of three baboons even though levels as high as 10 units/ml were achieved later in the course of the experiment. These studies suggest that thrombin and/or its products can contribute to the inflammatory response to E. coli and that AT-III is of potential value as a prophylactic but not as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of patients at high risk of developing gram negative sepsis.

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