The effects of pentoxifylline treatment on bacterial translocation after hemorrhagic shock in rats

Clin Exp Med. 2001 Mar;1(1):61-6. doi: 10.1007/pl00012238.


Bacterial translocation is thought to be responsible for infectious complications after hemorrhagic shock. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pentoxifylline treatment on bacterial translocation in animals subjected to hemorrhagic shock. Thirty-one Wistar albino rats (280-360 g) were divided into three groups: sham (n=10), shock (n=11), and shock-pentoxifylline (n=10). Blood was not withdrawn from sham rats. Shock rats were subjected to 30 min of shock followed by reinfusion of shed blood. Shock/pentoxifylline rats received pentoxifylline after reinfusion of shed blood. After hemorrhage and reinfusion (24 h), the mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and blood samples were evaluated using quantitative microbiological techniques, and the numbers of colony-forming units were compared between groups. Cecum was removed to evaluate the bacterial population. Ileum and cecum were examined histologically. The incidence of bacterial translocation was higher in the shocked rats (63%) than in the sham shock rats (10%). Pentoxifylline reduced the incidence of shock-induced bacterial translocation to 0%. Cecal bacterial levels were significantly higher in the shock rats than in the sham and shock/pentoxifylline rats. The histological damage caused by hemorrhagic shock was prevented by pentoxifylline treatment. In conclusion, the hemorrhagic shock triggered translocation of bacteria to the mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and blood of rats. Pentoxifylline treatment just after shed blood transfusion significantly attenuated this phenomenon.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Bacterial Translocation / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Translocation / physiology
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous
  • Cecum
  • Citrobacter / isolation & purification
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Ileum
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Proteus / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / pathology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / physiopathology*
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification


  • Pentoxifylline