Liquid perfluorocarbons are biologically inert compounds capable of dissolving up to 40 percent oxygen by volume. This remarkable and reversible oxygen solubility has encouraged investigations into therapeutic application in situations where tissue oxygen delivery is impaired. One such setting is intestinal ischemia. Identically prepared devascularized segments of rat intestine were treated with either intraluminal oxygenated perfluorocarbon (perfluorotributylamine) or physiologic saline solution. After timed sacrifice, blinded quantitative histologic evaluation for ischemic injury was performed. The perfluorotributylamine treatment groups had histologic scores indicative of less severe injury between 1 and 4 hours. These scores achieved statistical significance (p < 0.05). We conclude that intraluminal oxygenated perfluorocarbons have a significant protective effect in this model of intestinal ischemia. This quantitative analysis is unique and is an important aspect of the preclinical evaluation of the perfluorocarbon preparations.
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