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HPB Surg. 1996;9(2):61-9.

Intestinal endotoxins as co-factors of liver injury in obstructive jaundice.

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Department of Surgery, Gazi University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey.


The concept of endotoxin-mediated rather than direct liver injury in biliary obstruction was investigated using the experimental rat model of bile duct ligation (BDL) and small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO). Small identical doses of intravenous endotoxin (bacterial LPS) caused a significantly more severe liver injury in rats with BDL, compared with sham-operated rats, suggesting the possible contribution of LPS in this type of liver damage. BDL was then combined with surgically created jejunal self-filling blind loops, which resulted in SBBO. Plasma LPS level increased significantly, and once again a more severe liver injury, determined by liver histology and serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase levels, was observed compared with the control group of rats with BDL+self-emptying blind loops. The data presented suggest that small amounts of exogenous LPS and/or the ordinarily innocous amounts of LPS constantly absorbed from the intestinal tract may be critical in the hepatic damage caused by obstruction of the biliary tract.

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