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August 1971

Gastric Mucosal Changes Following Burns in Rats: A Morphological and Metabolic Approach to the Stress Ulcer Problem

Author Affiliations

From the McGill University Surgical Clinic, Montreal General Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(2):147-152. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350080063009

Following approximately 40% body surface scalding, the rats were fasted for 24 hours. Compared with that of a control group, the gastric mucosa of the scalded animals contained significantly less adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the ability of the mucosal cells to consume oxygen in vitro was also impaired. Morphological study of the early damage to the gastric mucosal epithelium in these animals as well as in other species revealed separation of the cells, often as a strip, subsequent to the development of a space at the infranuclear portion. The underlying microvessels were congested. The similarity between such metabolic and morphological changes to those observed in ischemic intestinal mucosa is discussed. It is suggested that such changes taking place in the mucosal cells, which represent the gastric barrier against the hostile intraluminal content, are an important process which may lead to the development of stress ulcer in the stomach.