Investigation of muscle pH as an indicator of liver pH and injury from hemorrhagic shock

Student Author(s)

Tania Khan

Academic Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery; Department of Anesthesiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Anesthesiology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery


BACKGROUND: During hemorrhagic shock blood flow to vital organs is maintained by the diversion of blood from both the splanchnic organs and skeletal muscle. In this swine study, we tested the hypotheses that (1). liver and muscle pH are correlated during both shock and resuscitation and (2). muscle pH during shock is an indicator of potential liver injury after resuscitation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Hemorrhagic shock was induced over 15 min to lower systolic blood pressure to 40 mm Hg and was maintained for 60 (n = 5) or 90 (n = 5) min. Resuscitation was achieved with shed blood and warm saline to maintain mean pressure >60 mm Hg for 120 min. Liver and muscle pH were measured with microelectrodes throughout the entire shock and resuscitation periods, along with hepatic venous oxygen saturation. Arterial lactate and aspartate aminotransferase were measured at baseline, end of shock, and resuscitation. Correlation between muscle and liver pH was determined. The ability of muscle pH to predict liver injury (40% increase in arterial aspartate aminotransferase) was compared with other predictors: liver pH, arterial lactate, and tonometric-arterial PCO(2) gap.

RESULTS: pH values and rates of change were similar in both muscle and liver tissue. Liver pH was well correlated with muscle pH during both shock and resuscitation, R(2) = 0.84. Muscle pH predicts potential liver injury with the same sensitivity as blood lactate in this swine shock model.

CONCLUSIONS: Minimally invasive measurement of muscle pH warrants further study as a method to assess splanchnic hypoperfusion and resultant injury.

DOI of Published Version



J Surg Res. 2003 Oct;114(2):195-201.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of surgical research

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID