Anastomoses in an intestine with chronic radiation damage are prone to leakage, possibly due to a reduced blood supply induced by a reduced capillary bed. In an animal model, the numerical capillary density in the perianastomotic area was investigated in intestine with or without chronic radiation damage. A 2-cm segment of rat ileum received a single dose of 21 Gy. Twenty weeks later, when the chronic radiation-induced changes were established, an anastomosis was constructed in this segment and in a corresponding segment in control rats. In situ perfusion fixation of the intestine was done 4 or 7 days after construction of the anastomosis, sections of the intestine were removed surgically, the specimens were embedded in methacrylate plastic and sectioned at 2.5 μm, and capillaries were counted under a light microscope. The circumferential mucosal capillary density was lower in irradiated than in nonirradiated animals at both 4 and 7 days (P < 0.001 and P = 0.04, respectively). This reduction was greater in the mesenteric quadrant than in the other quadrants around the circumference. These results are indicative of a reduced capillary bed in the vicinity of anastomoses in intestine with chronic radiation damage, which might lead to an impeded blood supply and subsequent leakage.
Reduced Mucosal Perianastomotic Capillary Density in Rat Small Intestine with Chronic Radiation Damage
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Staffan Jahnson, Rolf H. Christofferson, Bengt Gerdin; Reduced Mucosal Perianastomotic Capillary Density in Rat Small Intestine with Chronic Radiation Damage. Radiat Res 1 November 1998; 150 (5): 542–548. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/3579871
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