International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 339–344 | Cite as

Electrical field stimulation promotes anastomotic healing in poorly perfused rat colon

  • Rory Kennelly
  • John B. Conneely
  • David J. Bouchier-Hayes
  • Desmond C. Winter
Original Article



Hypoperfusion of the bowel is a risk factor for anastomotic failure. Electrical field stimulation has been shown to improve repair in ischemic tissue, but its influence in hypoperfused colon has not been investigated. The hypothesis of this experimental animal study was that electrical field stimulation improves anastomotic healing in ischemic bowel.

Materials and methods

Thirty rats were divided evenly into three groups: control, ischemia/placebo, and ischemia/test group. Ischemia was induced by ligation of the arterial supply to the proximal colon. The watershed area was identified and transected. Field stimulation was achieved by application of negatively charged diethylaminoethyl Sephadex beads in methylcellulose gel to the colonic epithelium prior to anastomosis. The placebo group had methylcellulose gel only applied and control animals had anastomosis only. Anastomotic strength was measured using anastomotic bursting pressure and hydroxyproline content. Systemic effect was investigated via interleukin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor assay.


The ischemia/electrical field stimulation (EFS) group had significantly increased bursting pressure and hydroxyproline content in comparison with the placebo group (P < 0.001). Serum cytokine levels were unaffected.


Negatively charged EFS improves anastomotic healing in hypoperfused colon without induction of systemic cytokines and has potential as a local treatment in high-risk bowel anastomosis.


Colon Anastomosis Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rory Kennelly
    • 1
    • 3
  • John B. Conneely
    • 2
  • David J. Bouchier-Hayes
    • 2
  • Desmond C. Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Clinical Outcomes, Research and Education (ICORE)St. Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Department of SurgeryBeaumont HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education, Department of SurgerySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland

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