Selective microvascular endothelial cell dysfunction in the small intestine following resuscitated hemorrhagic shock

T M Fruchterman, D A Spain, M A Wilson, P D Harris, R N Garrison
Shock 1998, 10 (6): 417-22
Following resuscitation (RES) from hemorrhagic shock (HEM), intestinal microvessels develop progressive vasoconstriction that impairs mucosal blood flow, despite central hemodynamic RES. These events might have clinical consequences secondary to occult intestinal ischemia. We hypothesized that the microvascular impairments were due to progressive endothelial cell dysfunction and an associated reduction in the dilator, nitric oxide (NO), following HEM/RES. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, were monitored for central hemodynamics and the terminal ileum was studied with in vivo videomicroscopy. HEM was 50% of baseline mean arterial pressure (MAP) for 60 min, and RES was with shed blood + 1 volume of normal saline (NS). Following HEM/RES, acetylcholine (10)(-7), 10(-5) M) was topically applied and ileal inflow (A1) and premucosal arteriolar diameters were measured to assess endothelial-cell function at 60 and 120 min post-RES. Normalization of MAP, cardiac output, and heart rate demonstrated adequate systemic resuscitation. Post-RES vasoconstriction developed in A1 (-25%) and premucosal (-28%) arterioles with an associated reduction in A1 flow (-47%). However, there was a selective impairment of endothelial-dependent dilation that was manifested only in the smaller premucosal arterioles and not in the inflow, A1 arterioles. This suggests that multiple mechanisms are involved in the development of the post-RES vasoconstriction. The premucosal response was likely mediated by endothelial cell dysfunction, while the A1 response was probably the result of enhanced vasoconstrictor forces. This early microvascular dysfunction might contribute to the late sequelae of intestinal ischemia and might alter microvascular responses to subsequent systemic insults.

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