Although much is known about the mucosal damage that occurs after intestinal warm ischemia and reperfusion and its recovery, little is known about the effect of cold preservation and transplantation on the mucosa. We studied the electrophysiological, biochemical, and histological changes of the intestinal mucosa after preservation for 24 hr and subsequent transplantation.
The small intestines from adult mongrel dogs were harvested. The intestines were orthotopically autotransplanted immediately (control group) or after preservation for 24 hr (preservation group). Jejunal and ileal tissues were taken before harvesting, at the end of preservation, 1 hr after reperfusion, and on postoperative days 3, 7, 14, and 28. The Ussing chamber method was used to study the electrophysiologic changes. Tissue maltase, diamine oxidase, and ornithine decarboxylase were measured. A histological analysis was also performed.
Control group grafts showed no evident deterioration in electrophysiology, biochemistry, or morphology. In contrast, preservation group grafts exhibited electrophysiological and biochemical degradation, complete denudation of the villi, and crypt injury (especially in the ileum) after reperfusion. Electrophysiologic function and the mucosa biochemical marker recovered within 3 days in the jejunum and within 7–14 days in the ileum; however, histological recovery of mucosal injury required 28 days in the jejunum and more than 28 days in the ileum.
Our study showed that despite severe destruction of mucosal integrity by prolonged preservation and transplantation, the intestinal mucosa has an enormous regenerative capacity. Our study also showed that regeneration was more pronounced in the jejunum than in the ileum.