• Thirty-eight starved cats, anesthetized with pentobarbital (Nembutal) sodium, received enteral administration of oxygen and other gases; the effect on intestinal motility as expressed by electrical activity was measured. Oxygen caused a notable increase in amplitude and frequency of slow electrical waves, while carbon dioxide and nitrogen caused no visible alterations.
Phentolamine hydrochloride and propranolol hydrochloride together with atropine sulfate decreased the amplitude and frequency of oscillations to near zero; subsequent administration of enteral oxygen caused a notable increase in electrical activity, while enteral carbon dioxide produced no alterations.
On the basis of our previous observations that enteral oxygen enhances oxygen and blood delivery to the gut wall, we suggest that the rise in stomach and intestinal electrical activity during enteral oxygen administration in conditions of surgical stress may be associated with an increase in oxygen and blood delivery to the gut wall.
(Arch Surg 111:566-574, 1976)