Using a swine shock ulcer model, three pharmacological agents, methylprednisolone, vitamin A and methysergide were evaluated, as they protect gastric mucosa against acute ulceration. Following haemorrhagic shock (3 h duration; mean arterial pressure 40 mm Hg) nine of the ten control animals (90%) developed gastric ulceration. Of the six test animals treated with intravenous methylprednisolone during the shock, only one (17%) developed gastric lesions (p < 0.02; χ2= 5.76). Of the ten test animals pretreated with massive doses of parenteral vitamin A, only three (30%) developed lesions (p < 0.05; χ2 = 5.21). In contrast to this, treatment with methysergide, a serotonin antagonist, did not significantly effect the ulceration rate, since four of the six test animals (67%) had gastric lesions. The results suggest that methylprednisolone and vitamin A do protect the gastric mucosa from experimental stress ulceration, but their mechanisms of action remain obscure and further investigation is needed to judge their value in clinical use.

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