The characteristics of intestinal injury peripheral to strangulating obstruction lesions in the equine small intestine

Authors

  • M. P. GERARD,

    1. Rural Veterinary Centre, Private Mail Bag #6, Narellan Delivery Centre, Narellan 2567, Australia.
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  • A. T. BLIKSLAGER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Food Animal and Equine Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.
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  • M. C. ROBERTS,

    1. Department of Food Animal and Equine Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.
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  • L. P. TATE Jr.,

    1. Department of Food Animal and Equine Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.
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  • R. A. ARGENZIO

    1. Department of Anatomy, Physiological Sciences, and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.
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Department of Food Animal and Equine Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.

Summary

Recent studies suggest that horses requiring surgical correction of strangulating intestinal obstruction may develop post operative complications as a result of ischaemia/ reperfusion injury. Therefore, the mucosal and serosal margins of resected small intestine from 9 horses with small intestinal strangulating lesions were examined for evidence of ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Severe mucosal injury and marked elevations in myeloperoxidase activity were detected at ileal resection margins (n = 4), whereas the mucosa from proximal jejunal (n = 9) and distal jejunal (n = 5) resection margins was normal. However, the serosa from jejunal resection margins had evidence of haemorrhage and oedema, and the proximal jejunal serosa had significantly increased numbers of neutrophils. Histological injury in ileal stumps is indicative of the inability fully to resect the ileum in horses with distal small intestinal strangulations. One of 4 horses subjected to ileal resection was subjected to euthanasia and found to have a necrotic ileal stump. Evidence of serosal injury and neutrophil infiltration in the proximal jejunal resection margins may predispose horses to post operative adhesions. Four of 8 horses discharged from the hospital suffered from recurrent colic in the post operative period.

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