Pentoxifylline (PTXF) is a methylxanthine derivative which modifies leukocyte function and inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α release. As TNF-α is considered a proximal mediator in the cascade leading to septic shock, we evaluated the ability of PTXF to attenuate the cardiovascular manifestations of sepsis secondary to an infusion of group B β-hemolytic streptococci (GBS). Fifteen anesthetized, mechanically ventilated piglets (weight, 2815 ± 552 g) were randomly assigned to a treatment group which received a continuous infusion of PTXF (5 mg/kg/h) beginning 30 min after GBS (7.5 x 108 colony-forming units/kg/min) administration was started or to a control group which received GBS plus saline as placebo. Comparison of the hemodynamic measurements and arterial blood gases over the first 120 min of bacterial infusion for treatment and control groups revealed the following statistically significant differences (120-min values presented): cardiac output was significantly higher in the PTXF group (0.159 ± 0.035 versus 0.09 ± 0.026 L/kg/min; p < 0.05) as was stroke volume (0.54 ± 0.11 versus 0.27 ± 0.126 mL/kg/beat; p < 0.01). Pulmonary and systemic vascular resistances remained lower in the PTXF-treated animals (167 ± 45 versus 233 ± 69 mm Hg/L/kg/min; p < 0.03) and (427 ± 162 versus 828 ± 426 mm Hg/L/kg/min; p < 0.03, respectively). Median survival time was significantly longer in the PTXF group (180 versus 120 min; p < 0.05). In an additional group of animals, PTXF administration before GBS infusion revealed no attenuation in the rise of TNF-α, accompanying sepsis. These data demonstrate that treatment with PTXF may ameliorate some of the deleterious hemodynamic manifestations of GBS sepsis and result in improved survival in a young animal model without significantly modifying plasma TNF-α levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health