• Enteral nutritional support has been found to result in better maintenance of mucosal integrity during stress than parenterally administered nutritional support. In our experiments, we employed in vivo microvascular techniques to examine the effect of mucosally applied glucose on intestinal microvascular blood flow during hyperdynamic live Escherichia coli bacteremia in the rat. We observed a significant decrease in intestinal microvascular blood flow during bacteremia when the mucosa was suffused with a nonglucose solution. Blood flow was rapidly restored to above-baseline values after glucose was added. The restoration of blood flow resulted from dilation of arterioles at all branch orders and was associated with dilation of premucosal arterioles to above-baseline diameters. Our results show that glucose-induced absorptive hyperemia restores intestinal blood flow during live E coli bacteremia. Restoration of intestinal microvascular blood flow may be a contributing factor to the improved maintenance of mucosal integrity associated with enteral feeding.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1573-1576)