Environmental Temperature and Metabolic Response to Injury Protein, Mineral and Energy Metabolism

  • D. P. Cuthbertson
  • G. S. Fell
  • A. G. Rahimi
  • W. J. Tilstone
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 33)


The post-shock generalized metabolic response to moderate to severe physical injury first described by Cuthbertson (1930, 1932, 1936, 1942) is a complex series of reactions with increased net protein catabolism and parallel increases in oxygen consumption as the main events. The changes in protein catabolism are exhibited as increased urinary losses of nitrogen (mainly as urea), sulphur (mainly as sulphate), phosphorus as phosphate, potassium, zinc and creatine but not creatinine (Cuthbertson, McGirr and Robertson, 1939; Cuthbertson, Fell, Smith and Tilstone 1972). This was termed the ‘flow’ phase of metabolism following the ‘ebb’ phase of diminished metabolism and heat production of the shock period (Cuthbertson, 1942). Muscle was implicated as the major source of nitrogen loss (Cuthbertson, 1942; Munro, 1964). The fractional catabolic rate of plasma albumin is increased and there is also a characteristic change in levels of plasma proteins with a fall in albumin and rises in the acute phase reactants (see Owen, 1967; Cuthbertson and Tilstone, 1969). The slight degree of fever which is generally present for a few days and which is apparently non microbial in origin was termed ‘traumatic fever’ and the whole reaction was considered as the generalized component of the inflammatory response.


Heat Production Metabolic Response Protein Catabolism Coulometric Titration Food Nitrogen 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. Cuthbertson
    • 1
  • G. S. Fell
    • 1
  • A. G. Rahimi
    • 1
  • W. J. Tilstone
    • 1
  1. 1.University Department of Pathological BiochemistryRoyal InfirmaryGlasgow C.4UK

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