Resuscitation-induced intestinal edema decreases the stiffness and residual stress of the intestine

Ravi S. Radhakrishnan, Hasan Xue, Norman Weisbrodt, Frederick A. Moore, Steven J. Allen, Glenn A. Laine, Charles S. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We have shown that acute edema impairs intestinal transit and we wanted to know whether this could be from changes in the physical characteristics of the intestine. Our hypothesis was that acute edema will change the physical characteristics of the intestine, which were measured by standardized engineering measures of elastic modulus, to determine stiffness and opening angle, and to determine residual stress. Rats were randomized to sham, mild edema (80 mL/kg of normal saline resuscitation), and severe edema groups (80 mL/kg of normal saline resuscitation with intestinal venous hypertension). Segments of distal ileum were hung to a fixed point in a tissue bath and to a tensiometer and were stretched in increments of 1 mm, recording the new length and the corresponding force from the tensiometer to determine elastic modulus. Next, two transverse cuts were made yielding a 1 - to 2-mm-thick ring-shaped segment of tissue and were then cut radially to open the ring. The opening angle was measured. Acute intestinal edema led to a decrease in transit, elastic modulus, and opening angle of the intestine in the absence of ischemic injury. Acute intestinal edema leads to a significant loss in stiffness and residual stress and is a plausible explanation for how acute edema impairs intestinal transit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Ileus
  • Intestinal transit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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