Previous animal models of intestinal ischemia-reperfusion have been successful in causing considerable mucosal damage, cellular destruction and sepsis. However, this often results in the death of the animal, making it impossible to examine the effects of modulators of the ischemic event. The sequence of morphologic and physiologic changes in the bowel from such injuries continues to be an area of intense examination. We have studied these changes by producing segmental intestinal ischemia in vivo in a rat model. By occluding a first-order branch of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and by selectively ligating terminal collateral branches, reproducible segmental intestinal ischemia was achieved. Bowel damage ranged from alterations in the villus structure to frank hemorrhagic necrosis of the intestinal wall. This model allows the study of hypoperfusion injury to the small intestine without total SMA occlusion, thus reducing the overall mortality.
- Small intestine