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Am Surg. 1996 Oct;62(10):793-9.

Small intestinal absorption during endotoxemia in swine.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital, Los Angeles 90025-1749, California, USA.


We studied the effects of systemic endotoxemia on small intestinal absorption in an in vivo animal model. Seven adolescent Yorkshire swine underwent creation of 25 cm distal ileal Thiry-Vella fistulae. After 1 week recovery, the fistulae were perfused with a solution of glucose and electrolytes labeled with 14C-PEG, and net absorption of water, Na+, Cl-, and glucose was calculated. Animals were studied under three different conditions: (1) Basal fasting state, (2) immediately after intravenous injection of E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 250 micrograms/kg), and (3) 24 hours after LPS. Water, Na+, and Cl- absorption was significantly reduced 2 hours after LPS, but recovered to baseline values by the third hour after LPS. Twenty-four hours after LPS water, Na+, and Cl- absorption was significantly decreased below baseline values. Glucose absorption after LPS paralleled that of water and electrolytes, except that the transient early recovery was not observed. Histological studies of the ileum after LPS showed marked epithelial inflammation at 6 hours, villous atrophy at 24 hours, and signs of recovery at 7 days. Intestinal absorption of water, electrolytes, and glucose is adversely affected in the immediate and early periods after an endotoxemic episode, but the histological epithelial injury secondary to endotoxemia is reversible.

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