Significant Reduction of Faecal Endotoxin Pool by Oral Polymyxin E and Tobramycin in Human Volunteers

  • J. J. M. van Saene
  • C. P. Stoutenbeek
  • H. K. F. van Saene
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 7)


Healthy human volunteers carry a large amount of endotoxin in their intestines (a mean of 109 pg per gram of faeces) [1]. The controlling mechanisms preventing the occurrence of systemic endotoxaemia must be extremely effective, as even such small concentrations as 2–5 ng/kg of endotoxin in blood can cause fever, thrombocytopenia etc. The first barrier constituting this important control mechanism is an intact mucosal lining, through which leakage is minimal [2]. The second barrier is the liver; intestinal endotoxin which passes the intestinal mucosa (portal endotoxaemia) is effectively cleared by Kupffer cells in the liver [3]. Finally, the third line of defence against endotoxin is the endotoxin-binding properties of the blood which neutralize endotoxin following spillover of the liver [4].


Haemorrhagic Shock Endotoxin Concentration Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate Inventory Sample Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate Assay 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. M. van Saene
  • C. P. Stoutenbeek
  • H. K. F. van Saene

There are no affiliations available

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