The mechanisms stimulating compensatory hypertrophy of small intestinal villi after massive resections are unknown but may involve a systemic stimulus.1 Since ischemic injury has been shown to enhance compensatory renal hypertrophy,2 the effect of minimal gut ischemia upon the small bowel epithelium has been investigated.
Eight female Lewis rats weighing 180 to 220 gm and maintained upon a uniform pellet diet underwent laparotomy under the influence of anesthesia produced by intraperitoneally administered pentobarbital (Nembutal) sodium (2.5 mg/100 gm body weight). The small bowel and cecum were delivered upon a moist sponge. In four animals the four distal vascular arcades of the terminal ileum were cross-clamped for nine minutes with a noncrushing instrument. The small bowel became deeply cyanotic and, upon declamping, the cyanosis of the ileum faded. The gut was replaced in the peritoneal cavity, and the wound was closed in two layers with continuous sutures of