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Exp Mol Pathol. 1995 Jun;62(3):160-5.

Intestinal anastomosis healing in rat: collagen concentration and histochemical characterization by Picrosirius red staining and polarizing microscopy.

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Department of Surgery C, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


The study was designed to characterize collagen fibers in the healing intestinal anastomosis of rat by examining collagen concentration and recording the polarization colors of the collagen fibers in Picrosirius red-stained tissue sections. No significant changes in collagen concentration expressed by hydroxyproline content were noted at the anastomotic site at various postoperative time points. In the normal intestine, the predominant polarization colors were in the yellow to yellow-orange range, signifying tightly packed, matured collagen. During the first postoperative week, collagen fibers at the anastomotic region exhibited mainly polarization colors in the green to green-yellow range, implying less packed intermediate collagen fibers. After 2 weeks, collagen fibers at the anastomotic region gradually reacquired their preoperative polarizing texture. These findings strongly suggest that the "quality" rather than the quantity of collagen fibers plays an important role in maintaining the tensile strength of the healing intestinal anastomosis.

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