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J Gastrointest Surg. 2000 Jan-Feb;4(1):44-9.

Preconditioning protects against ischemia/reperfusion injury of the liver.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) of an organ may induce protection against the injury caused by longer duration of ischemia and subsequent reperfusion. In a standardized model of such injury in the rat liver, we used the following protocol to investigate whether adenosine played a role in IPC by preventing its enzymatic degradation by dipyridamole pretreatment according to the following protocol: group 1, nonischemic control rats; group 2, ischemic control rats subjected to 60 minutes of ischemia by clamping of the common hepatic artery followed by 60 minutes of reperfusion; group 3, IPC with 10 minutes of ischemia followed by 15 minutes of reperfusion, prior to the ischemia/reperfusion period as in group 2; group 4, pharmacologic preconditioning with administration of dipyridamole prior to the ischemia/reperfusion period as in group 2. Peripheral liver blood flow was significantly reduced during clamping (groups 2 to 4). After unclamping, blood flow was still reduced in the ischemic rats (group 2) but had returned to preclamp values in the animals that had been subjected to ischemic (group 3) or pharmacologic (group 4) preconditioning. Liver cell injury was significantly increased in the ischemia group (group 2) only. In our experimental model of ischemia/reperfusion injury in the rat liver, we found an equally beneficial effect with ischemic and pharmacologic preconditioning. Adenosine appears to be a crucial factor in IPC.

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