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Microscopic analysis of anastomotic healing in the intestine of normal and diabetic rats


PURPOSE: The mechanisms that cause diabetes to impair the development of anastomotic strength in the intestine are poorly understood. We investigated whether short-term uncontrolled diabetes causes alterations in microscopic aspects of anastomoses from the ileum and colon. METHODS: Eighteen Wistar rats were rendered diabetic one week before operation by intravenous streptozotocin injection (50 mg/kg), resulting in nonfasting blood glucose levels of approximately 20 mmol/l. Another 18 age-matched rats were used as controls with a normal blood glucose range of 5 to 7 mmol/l. All rats underwent resection and anastomosis of both the ileum and colon. Animals were killed at one, three, or seven days after operation. Cellular and architectural parameters of anastomotic healing were scored in hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections. Anastomotic collagen content was analyzed by image analysis in picrosirius red-stained sections. RESULTS: Anastomotic necrosis, edema, and epithelial recovery were not affected by diabetes. In diabetic rats, the number of polymorphonuclear cells and macrophages was significantly (P=0.025 and 0.0002, respectively) increased in ileal anastomoses one and three days after operation. In colonic anastomoses, the number of polymorphonuclear cells was increased at one (P=0.001) and seven (P=0.014) days after operation. Repair of the submucosal-muscular layer in colonic anastomoses from diabetic rats was impaired seven days after surgery (P=0.0071), but in ileal anastomoses no difference was found. In the anastomotic area, collagen deposition at postoperative Days 1, 3, and 7 remained unaffected by diabetes. CONCLUSION: Experimental diabetes leads to alterations in cellular components involved in the early phase of repair of intestinal anastomoses but not to a reduced accumulation of wound collagen.

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Verhofstad, M.H.J., Lange, W.P., van der Laak, J.A.W.M. et al. Microscopic analysis of anastomotic healing in the intestine of normal and diabetic rats. Dis Colon Rectum 44, 423–431 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02234744

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Key words

  • Anastomosis
  • Collagen
  • Diabetes
  • Healing
  • Intestine
  • Microscopy
  • Rat
  • Wound