Studies of the Coagulation System and Blood Pressure during Experimental Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever in Rhesus Monkeys

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  • United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland
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Experimental infection of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with Machupo virus produced a hemorrhagic disease similar to that of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever in humans. The disease in infected animals was also characterized by the development of hypotension and coagulation abnormalities as indicated by severe thrombocytopenia and prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time. Evidence for disseminated intravascular coagulation was inconclusive due to the presence of normal to elevated fibrinogen levels, relatively low levels of circulating fibrin split products, and the lack of widespread fibrin thrombus deposition. The most likely causes of the hemorrhagic tendencies of this disease in infected monkeys were thrombocytopenia and decreased synthesis of coagulation and other plasma proteins due to severe hepatocellular necrosis. Hypotension may also have been due to decreased plasma protein synthesis.

Author Notes

Present address: ARRADCOM, CSL, Biomedical Laboratory, ATTN: DRDAR-CLL-VV, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21010. Send reprint requests to this address.

Present address: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Washington, D.C. 20314.

College of Medicine, Department of Comparative Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.