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September 1969

Ischemic Intestinal Strangulation in Germ-Free Rats

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Surg. 1969;99(3):397-400. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340150105022

The presence of bacteria in the intestine and the loss of blood into the bowel are known to be important factors in death from hemorrhagic intestinal strangulation. Using the germ-free rat, we have shown that 30% of the small intestine can be ischemically strangulated without death, while a hemorrhagic infarction of only 15% is uniformly fatal.1

In the absence of bacteria and blood loss, a question remained as to whether the products which result from the autolysis of necrotic intestine, alone or in combination with the contents of the bowel, could result in the formation of lethal substances. This paper summarizes the results of a series of experiments, using the germ-free rat, which demonstrate the significance of the necrotic intestine and its contents in intestinal strangulation.

Materials and Methods  The two experiments discussed in this paper are a composite of eight separate experiments grouped together for ease and clarity