Digestive juices implicated in shock | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Digestive juices implicated in shock

Enzymes may leak outside intestines and cause deadly condition

11:11pm, January 23, 2013

Digestive enzymes that escape from the intestines into adjacent tissues and the bloodstream may be a key player in triggering shock, the dangerous condition that sometimes occurs after major medical trauma. A new study finds that giving enzyme inhibitors to rats in the throes of shock can alleviate the potentially lethal condition.

The findings could shed some much needed light on shock, which typically shows up as the end result of some other medical problem such as hemorrhage, sepsis, a heart attack or a systemic allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. In all cases, blood pressure plummets, sabotaging circulation and threatening tissue viability.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content