Objective—To compare the mechanisms of heartworm (HW) extract-induced shock and endotoxininduced shock in dogs by determination of serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) concentrations.
Animals—11 mixed-breed dogs (7 without and 4 with HW infections).
Procedure—Eight dogs were treated with 2 ml of HW extract IV, and 3 dogs were given endotoxin (Escherichia colili popolysaccharide [LPS]) at 40 or 400 μg/kg of body weight, IV. Changes in clinical and hematologic findings and serum TNF concentrations were examined from before treatment to 120 minutes after treatment in dogs given HW extract or from before treatment to 180 minutes after treatment in dogs given LPS. Tumor necrosis factor concentration was determined by cytotoxic assay, using WEHI-164 murine sarcoma cells, and plasma endotoxin concentration was determined in 2 dogs treated with HW extract, using the endotoxin-specific chromogenic test.
Results—Eight dogs developed shock 3 to 16 minutes after HW extract treatment. Rectal temperature did not change during examination. Serum TNF concentration was detected at a low concentration only 60 and 120 minutes after HW extract treatment, and plasma endotoxin was not detected during examination. In dogs treated with LPS, rectal temperature increased to > 40 C in 2 of 3 dogs, and serum TNF concentration began to increase 30 minutes after LPS treatment, reaching a maximum concentration by 60 minutes.
Conclusions—The cause and mechanism of HW extract-induced shock may be different from those of endotoxin-induced shock, because TNF, which was a pivotal mediator in endotoxin-induced shock, increased minimally in serum of dogs treated with HW extract. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:765–769)