Dr. Joep Grootjans and colleagues at the Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands demonstrate that intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) induces inflammation in humans. Their report can be found in the May 2010 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.
Intestinal I/R, the restriction and return of the blood supply to the intestine, is a common pathological side effect of surgery that leads to bacteria in the blood stream, systemic inflammation, and subsequent morbidity and mortality. Although intestinal I/R has been frequently studied in animal models, little is known about the inflammatory results of intestinal I/R in humans.
Using a human intestinal I/R model, Grootjans et al demonstrated that intestinal blood restriction in humans results in leakiness of the intestinal lining, which may allow bacteria to enter the blood stream. In addition, I/R-damaged intestinal tissue induced an inflammatory response. These data provide the basis for the development of future preventative and therapeutic strategies to treat I/R.
Dr. Gootjans and colleagues conclude that "[the] previously observed ability of the human small intestine to prevent intestinal I/R-induced inflammation is abolished by exposure to prolonged ischemia."
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