Effect of internal biliary drainage on plasma levels of endotoxin, cytokines, and C-reactive protein in patients with obstructive jaundice

World J Surg. 2002 Nov;26(11):1328-32. doi: 10.1007/s00268-002-6232-9. Epub 2002 Sep 26.


Preoperative biliary drainage may improve the cytokine and acute-phase response derangements observed in patients with obstructive jaundice. We conducted a prospective longitudinal, before-after trial in our 600-bed teaching hospital. Twenty-four patients with obstructive jaundice were investigated, 11 with benign obstruction and 13 with malignant disease. Endoscopic internal biliary drainage was performed in all patients (7 by papillotomy and 17 by endoprostheses). Endotoxin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nitric oxide production, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were determined at admission and on days 2 and 7 after internal biliary drainage was accomplished. Bile cultures were obtained before and at the time of drainage. Endotoxin, IL-6, TNF-a, and CRP were significantly higher in patients with cancer. After internal drainage, endotoxin (11.4 vs. 2 EU/L; p <0.05), TNF-a (87.5 vs. 48 pg/ml; p = 0.03), and IL-6 (324 vs. 232 pg/ml; p <0.05) plasma levels decreased significantly in the early postdrainage period in patients with cancer. Endotoxin, cytokines, as well as the CRP plasma values, however, increased again on day 7 after drainage. This trend was less marked in patients with benign obstruction. Patients with positive bile cultures after drainage displayed higher levels of CRP (115 vs. 62 mg/L; p = 0.03), IL-6 (598 vs. 330 pg/ml; p = 0.04), and endotoxin (10.6 vs. 4.8 EU/L; p = 0.02) than those with negative bile cultures. Biliary tract obstruction is associated with an increase in endotoxin levels, a positive acute-phase response, and plasma cytokine elevation. After biliary drainage a transitory improvement of these alterations was observed, although values remained high 1 week postdrainage. These findings were associated with positive bile cultures.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / complications
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / complications
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Cholelithiasis / complications
  • Cholelithiasis / surgery
  • Cholestasis / blood
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Cholestasis / surgery*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Endotoxins / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Cytokines
  • Endotoxins
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • C-Reactive Protein