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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2013;68(2):239-44.

The effects of ghrelin on colonic anastomosis healing in rats.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Inönü University Medical School, Malatya, Turkey.



In addition to its roles in the stimulation of growth hormone secretion and the regulation of appetite and metabolism, ghrelin exerts immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions in several organ systems. In this study, we investigated the effects of ghrelin on the healing of experimental colonic anastomoses.


Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups (n = 10 in each). A segment of colon was excised, and an end-to-end anastomosis was performed in the distal colon. The Ghrelin Group received 10 ng/kg/day IP ghrelin for seven days postoperatively, whereas the Control Group received an identical volume of saline. On the seventh postoperative day, the anastomotic bursting pressures and hydroxyproline levels were measured, and adhesion formation around the anastomoses was examined. Histopathological analyses were performed to evaluate inflammatory cell infiltration, fibroblast infiltration, collagen density and neovascularization.


In the Ghrelin Group, the bursting pressure and hydroxyproline levels were significantly higher than in the Control Group. The adhesion formation scores were lower in the Ghrelin Group than in the Control Group. Although the inflammatory cell infiltration was diminished in the Ghrelin Group, the degrees of fibroblast infiltration, collagen density and neovascularization were not significantly different between the groups.


Our results indicate that ghrelin improves the healing of colonic anastomoses in rats.

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