The effect of ranitidine administration upon the hepatotoxic effect produced by a multidose acetaminophen administration regimen was examined. Seventy-two dogs received three subcutaneous injections of acetaminophen (750, 200, 200 mg/kg body wt) in DMSO (600 mg/ml) at time zero, 9 hr later, and 24 hr after the first dose. Ten control animals (group I) were not given ranitidine, the remaining 62 dogs received an intramus-cular injection of ranitidine 30 min before each acetaminophen dose. Three different doses of ranitidine were used (mg/kg body wt): 50 mg, group II (33 dogs); 75 mg, group III (14 dogs); 120 mg, group IV (15 dogs). Ranitidine reduced the expected acetaminophen-induced hepatoxicity in a dose-response manner. Moreover, a significant correlation was found between the ranitidine dose and the survival rate, as evidenced by transaminase levels in the serum and histology of the liver. This model of fulminant hepatic failure induced by acetaminophen and its modulation with ranitidine provides clinical investigators with a research tool that will be useful in the future investigation of putative medical and surgical therapies being investigated for use in the clinical management of fulminant hepatic failure. Because of the size of the animal used in this model, frequent and serial analyses of blood and liver were available for study to determine the effect of therapy within a given animal as opposed to within groups of animals.
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