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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1995 Jan;78(1):232-8.

Measurement of intestinal vascular capacitance in dogs: an application of blood pool scintigraphy.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


To define relative changes in intestinal vascular capacitance, we developed a model that allowed us to construct intestinal vascular pressure-volume relationships (PVR). Thirteen alpha-chloralose-anesthetized and splenectomized dogs were studied using a pneumatic constrictor and a small catheter to change and measure portal venous pressure. A small lead sheet was placed beneath the abdominal wall. Relative changes in intestinal blood volume (IBV) were determined by in vivo blood pool scintigraphy with 99mTc-labeled erythrocytes and were expressed as percentages corrected for specific activity and abdominal wall radioactivity. PVRs were constructed using data recorded during graded inflations of the portal venous constrictor. The abdominal wall contributed 32.4 +/- 7.7% (SD) of the total counts. During a 4-h control period, PVRs varied by no more than 6% (of IBV). In the isolated intestinal circulation, the change in IBV was precisely proportional to the volume of blood added, indicating that this method can detect very small changes in volume (< or = 5 ml). Nitroglycerin (25 increased capacitance by 20%. Although it measures only relative changes, the model is stable and sensitive, provides reproducible measurement of intestinal PVRs, and, with adaptation, may prove useful in patient studies.

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