Objective—To assess a technique for laparoscopic collection of serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens in horses.
Animals—13 healthy adult horses.
Procedures—In the ex vivo portion of the study, sections of duodenum and jejunum obtained from 6 horses immediately after euthanasia were divided into 3 segments. Each segment was randomly assigned to the control group, the double-layer hand-sewn closure group, or the endoscopic linear stapler (ELS) group. Bursting strength and bursting wall tension were measured and compared among groups; luminal diameter reduction at the biopsy site was compared between the biopsy groups. In the in vivo portion of the study, serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens were laparoscopically collected with an ELS from the descending duodenum and distal portion of the jejunum at monthly intervals in 7 sedated, standing horses. Biopsy specimens were evaluated for suitability for histologic examination.
Results—Mean bursting strength and bursting wall tension were significantly lower in the ELS group than in the hand-sewn and control groups in both the duodenal and jejunal segments. Use of the hand-sewn closure technique at the biopsy site reduced luminal diameter significantly more than use of the stapling technique. In the in vivo part of the study, all 52 biopsy specimens collected during 26 laparoscopic procedures were suitable for histologic examination and no clinically important perioperative complications developed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Laparoscopic collection of serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens with a 45-mm ELS may be an effective and safe technique for use in healthy adult experimental horses.