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.