Vasodilation or altered perfusion pressure moves 15-μm spheres trapped in the gut wall

L. C. Maxwell, A. P. Shepherd, G. L. Riedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To determine whether the microsphere method for measuring the intramural distribution of intestinal blood flow is affected by perfusion pressure or vasodilation, we infused radioactive 9- and 15-μm spheres into adjacent segments of isolated canine small bowel. After sphere infusion the blood supply of the control loop was occluded, and the vasculature of the experimental loop was either dilated by infusing isoproterenol or was subjected to increased perfusion pressure. Intestinal segments were dissected into mucosal, submucosal, and muscularis samples. Venous blood was collected during sphere infusions and experimental perturbations. Accumulations of spheres in tissue samples and venous blood were assessed in a gamma radioactivity counter. Isoproterenol caused previously infused spheres to leave submucosa and redistributed them primarily to mucosa with few additional spheres reaching venous blood. The combined estimate of mucosal plus submucosal blood flow was relatively unaffected by isoproterenol infusion but was significantly altered by increased perfusion pressure. These results have the following implications for microsphere studies of the intramural distribution of intestinal blood flow: 1) tissue must be sampled after each sphere infusion unless the possibility of sphere migration has been experimentally eliminated and 2) even a two-compartment fractionation of blood flow into muscularis and mucosal-plus-submucosal compartments is not valid under some experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H123-H127
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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