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Indomethacin decreases jejunal fluid secretion in addition to luminal release of prostaglandin E2 in patients with acute cholera.
  1. F P Van Loon,
  2. G H Rabbani,
  3. K Bukhave,
  4. J Rask-Madsen
  1. International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.


    Human cholera is associated with an increased luminal release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), but whether inhibition of increased PGE2 synthesis will reduce or control intestinal secretion is uncertain. 'Steady state' perfusions (10 ml/minute) in 12 patients with acute cholera, and repeat perfusions in nine of these patients during the convalescent phase were therefore performed using the triple lumen technique. The proximal jejunum was perfused with isotonic saline containing sodium-sulphobromophthalein as a non-absorbable marker. After intravenous administration of indomethacin (1.0 mg/kg) the jejunal net transfer of fluid and the jejunal flow rate of PGE2 were determined in 30 minute periods for 120 minutes after a 120 minute control period. Indomethacin decreased net fluid secretion (2.1 (0.3-4.2) v 4.5 (2.5-8.4) ml/hour x cm; medians, Q50 ranges, p less than 0.01) and the jejunal flow rate of PGE2 (1.5 (1.2-2.7) v 2.2 (1.4-4.9) ng/minute, p less than 0.05). The results of similar perfusion studies in 22 patients with acute cholera, used to establish the spontaneous time related change in fluid secretion, showed no significant change in net fluid transfer (3.5 (2.2-6.2) to 3.5 (2.6-11.6) ml/hour x cm, p greater than 0.25) over 240 minutes. These data provide further evidence in favour of the hypothesis that prostaglandins have a role in the cholera toxin induced intestinal fluid secretion in man.

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