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  • Author or Editor: Christof Reichert x
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Objective—To evaluate the use of a micro-lightguide tissue spectrophotometer for measurement of tissue oxygenation and blood flow in the small and large intestines of horses under anesthesia.

Animals—13 adult horses without gastrointestinal disease.

Procedures—Horses were anesthetized and placed in dorsal recumbency. Ventral midline laparotomy was performed. Intestinal segments were exteriorized to obtain measurements. Spectrophotometric measurements of tissue oxygenation and regional blood flow of the jejunum and pelvic flexure were obtained under various conditions that were considered to have a potential effect on measurement accuracy. In addition, arterial oxygen saturation at the measuring sites was determined by use of pulse oximetry.

Results—12,791 single measurements of oxygen saturation, relative amount of hemoglobin, and blood flow were obtained. Errors occurred in 381 of 12,791 (2.98%) measurements. Most measurement errors occurred when surgical lights were directed at the measuring site; covering the probe with the surgeon's hand did not eliminate this error source. No measurement errors were observed when the probe was positioned on the intestinal wall with room light, at the mesenteric side, or between the mesenteric and antimesenteric side. Values for blood flow had higher variability, and this was most likely caused by motion artifacts of the intestines.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The micro-lightguide spectrophotometry system was easy to use on the small and large intestines of horses and provided rapid evaluation of the microcirculation. Results indicated that measurements should be performed with room light only and intestinal motion should be minimized.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research