PATIENTS with intestinal obstruction who are found to have gangrenous bowel at operation continue to have a mortality rate of over 20%.17 Poorly understood toxic substances exude from the ischemic bowel. Although unquestionably important, the significant effects of the intestinal bacteria in strangulated intestinal obstruction remain poorly defined. To explore this problem, the natural course of strangulated intestinal obstruction was studied in a series of experiments using both conventional and germfree Sprague-Dawley rats.
Materials and Methods
—A series of forty 200 to 250 gm Sprague-Dawley rats with a normal bacteria flora were anesthetized with intramuscular sodium pentobarbital, 2.5 mg/100 gm of body weight. With clean but nonsterile instruments and techniques, the abdominal cavity was opened through a midline incision. A closed test segment of the distal ileum was created by ligating each end of a 10 cm section of intestine with No. 2 black silk and