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Methods to predict intestinal viability after release of vascular occlusion were evaluated in a rat model of reversible segmental strangulation. Visual criteria of colour, pulsation and peristalsis in the ischaemic intestine were applied both in the immmediate period after restoration of the circulation and at `second-look' 24 hours later. In addition two simple tests using a Doppler probe and surface fluorescence were evaluated. As a test in identifying nonviable intestine the fluorescent method had an overall sensitivity of 96% with a specificity of 95% for all types of vascular occlusion, which compared favourably with the other methods tested.