Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion: microcirculatory pathology and functional consequences
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- Vollmar, B. & Menger, M.D. Langenbecks Arch Surg (2011) 396: 13. doi:10.1007/s00423-010-0727-x
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Intestinal ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) is a challenging and life-threatening clinical problem with diverse causes. The delay in diagnosis and treatment contributes to the continued high in-hospital mortality rate.
Experimental research during the last decades could demonstrate that microcirculatory dysfunctions are determinants for the manifestation and propagation of intestinal I/R injury. Key features are nutritive perfusion failure, inflammatory cell response, mediator surge and breakdown of the epithelial barrier function with bacterial translocation, and development of a systemic inflammatory response. This review provides novel insight into the basic mechanisms of damaged intestinal microcirculation and covers therapeutic targets to attenuate intestinal I/R injury.
The opportunity now exists to apply this insight into the translation of experimental data to clinical trial-based research. Understanding the basic events triggered by intestinal I/R may offer new diagnostic and therapeutic options in order to achieve improved outcome of patients with intestinal I/R injury.