• Vitamin A may play a role systemically and locally in controlling intra-abdominal sepsis. Adult male rats were divided into three groups. Group 1 ate a standard rat laboratory chow (not vitamin A deficient), group 2 ate the same chow supplemented with vitamin A, and group 3 ate the chow supplemented with beta carotene. All animals underwent cecal ligation, and the cecum was perforated either with a 27-gauge or an 18-gauge needle. Vitamin A dietary supplementation had a significant protective effect, which was manifested by improved survival in the animals whose cecum was perforated with an 18-gauge needle, prevention of postoperative hypothermia, maintenance of peripheral WBC counts at normal or above-normal values, and better localization of the intra-abdominal inflammatory process. Dietary supplementation with beta carotene had a lesser protective effect.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:161-165)