Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 185–191 | Cite as

Effect of dietary fat on fat absorption and concomitant plasma and tissue fat composition in a rat model of short bowel syndrome

  • I. Sukhotnik
  • N. Mor-Vaknin
  • R. A. Drongowski
  • A. G. Coran
  • C. M. Harmon
Original Article


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary fat on the time course of changes in fat absorption and tissue and plasma lipid composition in a rat model of short bowel syndrome (SBS). Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent either a bowel transection with re-anastomosis (Sham rats) or 75% small bowel resection (SBS rats). Animals were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Sham rats fed normal chow (Sham-NC), SBS rats fed normal chow (SBS-NC), or SBS rats fed a high-fat diet (SBS-HFD). Rats were sacrificed on day 3 or 14. Body weight, food intake, food clearance (dry fecal mass), and fat clearance (total fecal fat) were measured twice a week. Fat and energy intakes were calculated according to the amount of ingested food. Food and fat absorbability were calculated as intake minus clearance and were expressed as percent of intake. Serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and albumin were measured. Total lipid composition of the liver, epididymal adipose tissue, and the small intestine was determined. Statistical analysis was performed by a Student’s test, with p values <0.05 considered significant. Both food and fat absorbability diminished after bowel resection in rats fed NC. This was accompanied by a decrease in body weight gain, plasma triglyceride and protein levels, and total lipid content of the liver at day 3 and of a decrease in adipose tissue at day 14 following operation. SBS-HFD rats experienced a significant increase ( p <0.05) in food absorbability after 7 days and fat absorbability after 3 days compared with Sham-NC and SBS-NC rats ( p <0.05), as well as increases in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose compared with SBS-NC rats. On day 14, plasma lipid levels in SBS-HFD rats were not different from SBS-NC or control rats; however, albumin levels were higher. A high-fat diet increased total fat content of the liver early after operation. In conclusion, in a rat model of SBS, an early high-fat diet increased the absorptive capacity of the intestinal remnant as seen by increased food and fat absorbability. These findings suggest a benefit of a high-fat diet on intestinal adaptation in general and on lipid absorption in particular.


Short bowel syndrome Dietary lipid Fat absorption Tissue lipids Plasma lipids 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Sukhotnik
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Mor-Vaknin
    • 2
  • R. A. Drongowski
    • 2
  • A. G. Coran
    • 2
  • C. M. Harmon
    • 2
  1. 1.Carmel Medical CenterDept. of Surg. BHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Section of Pediatric SurgeryC.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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