A pathologic study of Escherichia coli shock in the baboon and the response to adrenocorticosteroid treatment

J. J. Coalson, B. A. Benjamin, L. T. Archer, B. K. Beller, R. H. Spaet, L. B. Hinshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to determine if corticosteroids would prevent the development of the pathologic lesions of septic shock in baboons treated with live Escherichia coli organisms during a 24 hour study period. Pathologic changes were defined for multiple organs and compared with the lesions previously described in the shock state in humans. Eleven awake baboons were infused with comparable dosages of live Escherichia coli organism during a five hour period with one member of each pair receiving methylprednisolone. One additional baboon received saline solution in place of organisms and served as the control study. Autopsies were performed immediately, and specimens were obtained from the heart, lungs, liver, adrenals, kidneys, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract for light microscopic and ultrastructural studies. Results of this study would indicate that adrenal corticosteroids do not prevent or decrease, or both, the severity of any of the morphologic lesions in the baboon subjected to low or high dosages of Escherichia coli organisms. The pathologic changes induced by live Escherichia coli organisms in the baboon include fibrin thrombi; edema or hemoirrhage, or both, and necrosis of multiple organ systems. The liver, adrenal glands and kidneys show striking pathologic changes, whereas the gastrointestinal tract shows no significant pathologic alteration. Results of this morphologic study demonstrate that the shock lesions of the subhuman primate and human are remarkably similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-736
Number of pages11
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1978


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