• The effects of small-bowel obstruction on the regional distribution of blood flow and water content were studied in a new chronic dog model. Nonstrangulative obstruction was induced 40 cm proximal to the canine ileocolic valve. Blood flow was measured with 15-μm microspheres and hemodynamic and respiratory values were recorded before (experimental phase I) and five days after (experimental phase II) the Induction of the obstruction. Two separate control groups of dogs were studied: baseline controls and sham-operative groups (phases I and II). Hemodynamic and respiratory values were stable in both phases in all groups. A comparison of sham phase-II data with the experimental phase-II data in the 120-cm segment of bowel proximal to the site of obstruction showed an 85% increase in blood flow (range, 49% to 106%); for the 280 cm of bowel proximal to the site of obstruction, there was a 6% increase in water content (range, 5% to 9%), and a 39% decrease in dry bowel weight (range, 34% to 46%). These findings help illustrate the pathophysiologic characteristics of microvascular changes in bowel obstruction, which are likely to have particular clinical significance for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:926-932)