Lethal and edema toxins of anthrax induce distinct hemodynamic dysfunction

Academic Article


  • Fatalities due to anthrax are associated with severe hypotension suggesting that the toxins generated from Bacillus anthracis, lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx), have cardiovascular effects. Here, we demonstrate the effects of these toxins and characterize their effects by echocardiography. LeTx leads to a significant reduction in ejection fraction, decreased velocity of propagation (diastolic dysfunction), decreased velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (decreased contractility), and increased LV systolic area (pathophysiology). EdTx leads to a significant reduction in left ventricular volumes and cardiac output (reduced stroke volume) but does not cause significant change in ejection fraction or contractility. These results indicate that LeTx reduces left ventricular systolic function and EdTx reduces preload but does not have direct myocardial effects. Together, these findings suggest that LeTx and EdTx exert distinct hemodynamic dysfunction associated with anthrax infection.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Watson LE; Mock J; Lal H; Lu G; Bourdeau RW; Tang WJ; Leppla SH; Dostal DE; Frankel AE
  • Start Page

  • 4670
  • End Page

  • 4675
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 12