Background: Biliary obstruction changes the spectrum of lipoproteins, which are now known to bind and neutralize endotoxin. Postoperative septic complications related to an increased susceptibility to endotoxin occur frequently in patients with obstructive jaundice. The effect of preoperative biliary drainage on changes in the lipoprotein spectrum and its relation to endotoxin sensitivity was studied.
Methods: Abnormalities in the lipoprotein spectrum were assessed in 15 patients with malignant obstructive jaundice before and 3 weeks after endoscopic biliary drainage. Changes in endotoxin responsiveness were assessed by using endotoxin-neutralizing reagents (anti-CD14 monoclonal antibody, polymyxin B, and recombinant bactericidal permeability increasing protein) to block cytokine production in whole blood cell cultures that were stimulated by cholestatic plasma taken before and after drainage.
Results: Drainage normalized very-low-density, low-density, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol fractions from, respectively, 43% to 19%, 50% to 65%, and 6% to 16% (P <.01). Ex vivo stimulation of whole blood with predrainage cholestatic plasma was 20-fold higher (P <.001) than with postdrainage plasma. Blocking the endotoxin response during the stimulation with predrainage cholestatic plasma with anti-CD14 monoclonal antibody, polymyxin B or recombinant bactericidal permeability increasing protein resulted in attenuation of the inflammatory response, reducing tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels at least 5-fold.
Conclusions: Preoperative biliary drainage normalizes the changed lipid profile and the endotoxin-stimulating capacity of cholestatic plasma, and this signifies a change in sensitivity to endotoxin.