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Effects of experimental mechanical manipulations on local inflammation in the jejunum of horses

Charlotte C. S. Hopster-Iversen DrMedVet1, Klaus Hopster DrMedVet2, Carsten Staszyk DrMedVet3, Karl Rohn DrMedVet4, David E. Freeman MVB, PhD5, and Anna K. Rötting DrMedVet, PhD6
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  • 1 Equine Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany.
  • | 2 Equine Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany.
  • | 3 Institute of Veterinary Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Justus-Liebig University, 35390 Giessen, Germany.
  • | 4 Institute of Biometry, Epidemiology, and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany.
  • | 5 Island Whirl Equine Colic Research Laboratory, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesvile, FL 32611.
  • | 6 Equine Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

Objective—To determine characteristics of the inflammatory reaction in the jejunum of horses in response to various mechanical manipulations.

Animals—12 adult warmblood horses without gastrointestinal tract disorders.

Procedures—The proximal aspect of the jejunum in each horse was divided into 5 segments, and the following manipulations were performed: manual emptying, placement of Doyen forceps, enterotomy alone, enterotomy with mucosal abrasion, and serosal abrasion. Jejunum samples were collected before (control), immediately after, and 30 minutes after the end of manipulations and histologically evaluated to determine distribution of neutrophils and eosinophils.

Results—Macroscopically, all manipulations resulted in jejunal hemorrhage and edema. Compared with control samples, neutrophil numbers were significantly higher after manipulations in the serosa (after all manipulation types), circular muscle layer (after manual emptying), submucosa (after placement of Doyen forceps), and mucosa (after all manipulations except enterotomy alone). Eosinophil numbers were significantly higher in the submucosa after mechanical abrasion of the serosa and manual emptying versus control samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated mechanical manipulation of the jejunum resulted in local inflammatory reactions characterized predominantly by infiltration of neutrophils. This could contribute to the development of postoperative ileus or adhesions in horses without macroscopically detectable injury of the jejunum during surgery.

Abstract

Objective—To determine characteristics of the inflammatory reaction in the jejunum of horses in response to various mechanical manipulations.

Animals—12 adult warmblood horses without gastrointestinal tract disorders.

Procedures—The proximal aspect of the jejunum in each horse was divided into 5 segments, and the following manipulations were performed: manual emptying, placement of Doyen forceps, enterotomy alone, enterotomy with mucosal abrasion, and serosal abrasion. Jejunum samples were collected before (control), immediately after, and 30 minutes after the end of manipulations and histologically evaluated to determine distribution of neutrophils and eosinophils.

Results—Macroscopically, all manipulations resulted in jejunal hemorrhage and edema. Compared with control samples, neutrophil numbers were significantly higher after manipulations in the serosa (after all manipulation types), circular muscle layer (after manual emptying), submucosa (after placement of Doyen forceps), and mucosa (after all manipulations except enterotomy alone). Eosinophil numbers were significantly higher in the submucosa after mechanical abrasion of the serosa and manual emptying versus control samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated mechanical manipulation of the jejunum resulted in local inflammatory reactions characterized predominantly by infiltration of neutrophils. This could contribute to the development of postoperative ileus or adhesions in horses without macroscopically detectable injury of the jejunum during surgery.

Contributor Notes

The study was performed at the Equine Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany.

Presented as an oral presentation at the 5th Annual Congress of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine, Edinburgh, February 2012.

This manuscript represents a portion of a thesis submitted by Dr. Hopster-Iversen to the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover as partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree.

The authors thank Gudrun Wirth for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hopster-Iversen (Charlotte.Iversen@gmx.de).