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The recovery of function and microcirculation in small intestinal loops following ischaemia
  1. J. W. L. Robinson,
  2. V. Mirkovitch


    Short loops of dog small intestine, filled with a buffered glucose solution, were subjected to one hour's total ischaemia by clamping the corresponding mesenteric artery and vein as well as the intestinal wall at each end of the loop. Immediately after the ischaemic period and 24 hours later, their functional capacity, together with that of neighbouring control loops, was determined by studying the absorption of phenylalanine and β-methyl-glucoside in vitro and by measuring the levels of Na+-K+-ATPase in the mucosa. The release of lysosomal enzymes after the ischaemia was studied by gauging the levels of acid phosphatase in the venous blood draining the ischaemic loop. The state of the mucosal microcirculation was investigated by injection of indian ink into the mesenteric artery removal of the loop.

    Immediately after ischaemia, considerable structural damage was observed in the intestinal mucosa, with desquamation of the villous tips, oedema, vascular stasis, and haemorrhagic infiltration in the lamina propria. No dye was observed in the mucosal capillaries. All transport capacity was abolished, but ATPase levels were unchanged. A significant release of lysosomal enzymes into the venous blood was noted.

    One day later structural and functional recovery was complete, and vascularization of the villous core was restored.

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    • 1 Part of this work was presented to the Société Suisse de Chirurgie in April 1972, and a concise report will appear in their Proceedings (Robinson et al, 1972)

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