Open Access Research article

Effects of crystalloids and colloids on liver and intestine microcirculation and function in cecal ligation and puncture induced septic rodents

Martin Alexander Schick1, Jobst Tobias Isbary1, Tanja Stueber1, Juergen Brugger1, Jan Stumpner1, Nicolas Schlegel3, Norbert Roewer1, Otto Eichelbroenner2 and Christian Wunder1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, University of Würzburg, Oberdürrbacherstraße 6, Würzburg, 97080, Germany

2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Clinic of Chemnitz gGmbH, Flemmingstraße 2, Chemnitz, 09116, Germany

3 Department of General, Visceral, Vascular and Paediatric Surgery (Department of Surgery II), University of Würzburg, Oberdürrbacherstraße 6, Würzburg, 97080, Germany

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:179  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-179

Published: 17 December 2012



Septic acute liver and intestinal failure is associated with a high mortality. We therefore investigated the influence of volume resuscitation with different crystalloid or colloid solutions on liver and intestine injury and microcirculation in septic rodents.


Sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in 77 male rats. Animals were treated with different crystalloids (NaCl 0.9% (NaCl), Ringer’s acetate (RA)) or colloids (Gelafundin 4% (Gel), 6% HES 130/0.4 (HES)). After 24 h animals were re-anesthetized and intestinal (n = 6/group) and liver microcirculation (n = 6/group) were obtained using intravital microscopy, as well as macrohemodynamic parameters were measured. Blood assays and organs were harvested to determine organ function and injury.


HES improved liver microcirculation, cardiac index and DO2-I, but significantly increased IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α levels and resulted in a mortality rate of 33%. Gel infused animals revealed significant reduction of liver and intestine microcirculation with severe side effects on coagulation (significantly increased PTT and INR, decreased haemoglobin and platelet count). Furthermore Gel showed severe hypoglycemia, acidosis and significantly increased ALT and IL-6 with a lethality of 29%. RA exhibited no derangements in liver microcirculation when compared to sham and HES. RA showed no intestinal microcirculation disturbance compared to sham, but significantly improved the number of intestinal capillaries with flow compared to HES. All RA treated animals survided and showed no severe side effects on coagulation, liver, macrohemodynamic or metabolic state.


Gelatine 4% revealed devastated hepatic and intestinal microcirculation and severe side effects in CLP induced septic rats, whereas the balanced crystalloid solution showed stabilization of macro- and microhemodynamics with improved survival. HES improved liver microcirculation, but exhibited significantly increased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. Crystalloid infusion revealed best results in mortality and microcirculation, when compared with colloid infusion.

Sepsis; Microcirculation; Colloids; HES; Crystalloids