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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1976 Jun;100(6):318-24.

Experimental meningococcal septicemia. Effect of heparin therapy.


The pathogenesis of experimental meningococcal septicemia and the efficacy of heparin sodium therapy were evaluated by inoculating rabbits intraperitoneally with type B meningococci in mucin. Half the rabbits died, and the respiratory distress and circulatory failure that occurred during the terminal phase of the disease were associated with diffuse pulmonary capillary and venular thrombosis and with renal glomerular fibrin deposition. Platelet and leukocyte counts and plasma fibrinogen levels decreased in all rabbits, and prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times were prolonged. Pretreatment with heparin sodium diminished intravascular fibrin deposition but failed to prevent the pulmonary microthrombi and did not either reduce the mortality or improve the survival time. We conclude that death in meningococcal septicemia is due to widespread thrombosis of the pulmonary microcirculation. The disease is complicated by diffuse intravascular coagulation, which can be controlled with heparin sodium but which is not immediately life-threatening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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