Characteristic mucosal lesions in resected small intestinal segments from seven patients are reported. Preoperatively, four patients were in shock and general hypotension while the three remaining cases showed signs of local intestinal hypotension. The microscopic appearance of the mucosal lesions was in all patients identical with that previously observed in the feline and canine small intestine after haemorrhage or local intestinal hypotension. It is proposed that an extravascular short-circuiting of oxygen in the mucosal countercurrent exchanger and an intravascular aggregation of blood cells might produce tissue hypoxia which makes the mucosa vulnerable to enzymatic degradation.
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