• Prostacyclin, or prostaglandin I2 (PGI2), and thromboxane A2 (TXA2) are potent, endogenously produced, vasoactive substances that have been implicated as mediators in the pathophysiologic nature of septic shock. We investigated the contribution and production of PGI2 and TXA2 in sepsis and septic shock, using an intact rabbit model and an in vitro rabbit isolated cardiac perfusion model. Continuous hemodynamic monitoring of both experimental models, along with serial radioimmunoassays of the metabolites of PGI2 and TXA2, indicated that myocardial depression is a common finding in subjects with septic shock and that septic shock causes a suppression of PGI2 production while augmenting TXA2 production. In addition, PGI2 and TXA2 were mediators of some cardiovascular changes in septic shock but were themselves not the toxic factor(s) responsible for the associated myocardial depression.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:189-192)