• Systemic endotoxemia consistently occurs in jaundiced patients undergoing surgery. Kupffer cell dysfunction is implicated in the development of endotoxemia and its postoperative complications. A novel in situ single-pass hepatic perfusion technique using a fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled latex probe was developed for measuring Kupffer cell clearance capacity and was applied in an animal model of biliary obstruction. Control rats and rats jaundiced for 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks' duration were studied. Kupffer cell clearance capacity, plasma bilirubin, endotoxin, and anti-core glycolipid concentrations were measured. Maximal hyperbilirubinemia preceded reduced Kupffer cell clearance capacity. Rats jaundiced for greater than 2 weeks had a significantly decreased Kupffer cell clearance capacity but significantly higher endotoxin and anticore glycolipid concentrations. Anticore glycolipid concentrations correlated strongly with systemic endotoxemia and both were inversely correlated with duration of jaundice. Impairment of Kupffer cell clearance capacity may contribute to endotoxemia associated with cholestasis.
(Arch Surg. 1993;128:200-205)