Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 153, Issue 7, pp 233–237 | Cite as

Metabolic changes in small bowel ischaemia

  • Marie Hickey-Dwyer
  • Thomas F. Gorey
  • Niall O’Higgins


REVERSIBLE small bowel ischaemia was produced in 24 rats by applying a microvascular clip to the superior mesenteric artery. A constant length of intestine was devascularised as outlined by dye injection. Forty-three serial blood samples were taken for acid-base and electrolyte analysis from the onset of vascular occlusion at 10 minute intervals until five minutes following revascularisation.

Mild acidosis from pH 7.1 to 6.8 occurred during the period of ischaemia. This acidosis was not lethal and no rats died during the occlusive period. More profound acidosis (pH 6.6) was recorded after reperfusion and a progressive hyperkalaemia correlated with the falling pH. Death occurred in all untreated animals in the early revascularisation period.

A further 41 rats were subjected to reversible small bowel ischaemia. Group A received 3 m mol/Kg of 8.4% sodium bicarbonate 20 and 60 minutes prior to revascularisation and Group B in addition received a further 3 m mol/kg at 90 minutes (immediately prior to revascularisation).

The treatment regimen given to Group A prevented the development of a metabolic acidosis during occlusion but not on revascularisation.

The beneficial effects of the treatment regimen given to Group B were prevention of a metabolic acidosis during occlusion, modification of the reperfusion acidosis and prolonged survival.


Metabolic Acidosis Superior Mesenteric Artery Untreated Animal Serial Blood Sample Superior Mesenteric Artery Occlusion 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Hickey-Dwyer
    • 1
  • Thomas F. Gorey
    • 1
  • Niall O’Higgins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity CollegeDublin, Woodview, Belfield

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