Systemically administered misoprostol, a PGE1 analog, has been shown to be an intestinal radioprotector. The purpose of this study was to determine if administration of misoprostol into the intestinal lumen can also reduce the severity of acute radiation enteritis. The rat small bowel was operatively exteriorized and segmented by means of suture ties. The remainder of the intestine and the rat were shielded in a lead box. Misoprostol was introduced into the lumen in various doses. After 30 min exposure to misoprostol, the isolated, exteriorized, segmented bowel was subjected to 11 Gy X irradiation. Five days later the animals were sacrificed and the intestines harvested for evaluation. Surviving crypt numbers per circumference and mucosal height were the criteria used for quantification of damage. Mucosa exposed to misoprostol at the time of radiation delivery showed significantly increased crypt numbers and mucosal height compared to adjacent saline-filled intestine.

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