What distending pressure will injure the bowel? All writers agree that injury done to the bowel by distention affects chiefly its circulation. The answer to this question should therefore be indicated by the fundamental relation between the volume of blood flowing through the wall of the bowel and the pressure within its lumen. This relation is that the volume of blood flowing through the wall of the bowel decreases as the intraintestinal pressure increases, until it becomes nothing when the intraintestinal pressure is equal to the systolic blood pressure.1 A corollary to this is the fact that a continuous flow of blood ceases when the intraintestinal pressure exceeds the diastolic blood pressure. Then a flow through the blood capillaries occurs only during ventricular systole. Proof of the critical importance of the relation between the intraintestinal pressure and the diastolic blood pressure is that intestinal function, as shown by the
GATCH WD, BATTERSBY JS. THE TWO STAGES OF BOWEL DISTENTION: A STUDY OF BOWEL INJURY BY DISTENTION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE VOLUME AND CONCENTRATION OF THE BLOOD. Arch Surg. 1942;44(1):108–118. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1942.01210190111013
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