Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 1683–1690 | Cite as

Microvascular changes in liver after ischemia-reperfusion injury

Protection with misoprostol
  • S. Ping Lim
  • Fiona J. Andrews
  • Chris Christophi
  • Paul E. O'Brien
Original Articles


Morphological changes in the hepatic microvasculature were studied in experimentally induced ischemia-reperfusion injury in the rat using a vascular casting technique. Partial hepatic ischemia was induced for 90 min followed by 24 hr of reperfusion. Microvascular casting was performed after 24 hr reperfusion by either intraarterial or intravenous infusion of acrylic resin (Mercox). After corrosion of the tissue, the cast was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Casts of normal livers showed good patency with no evidence of unfilled areas. The mean diameter of sinusoids was 14±3 µm with those in zone 1 slightly smaller than those in zone 3. Liver casts from rats subjected to ischemia and reperfusion resulted in gross disruption of normal architecture. The common characteristics seen in both prograde and retrograde casts were clusters of closed sinusoids around zones 2 and 3 of the liver acini, which resulted in cavities of various sizes. Varicosities were observed in some areas. The mean diameter of sinusoids in areas of patent microvascular structure (10±2 µm) was significantly smaller compared to those in normal livers (P<0.001). Misoprostol given at 1 min before reperfusion markedly reduced the microvascular injury. The hepatic microvasculature was generally intact with mild focal unfilled areas. The majority of the sinusoids were of normal size and no clusters of blind ending sinusoids were detected. The present study shows that hepatic ischemia-reperfusion results in extensive microvascular injury in the liver. The protective effects of misoprostol against this injury may occur at the vascular level.

Key words

liver microvasculature ischemia reperfusion misoprostol 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ping Lim
    • 1
  • Fiona J. Andrews
    • 1
  • Chris Christophi
    • 1
  • Paul E. O'Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of Surgery, Monash Medical SchoolAlfred HospitalPrahranAustralia

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