Thermal injury is associated with functional alterations of multiple organ systems, including the gastrointestinal tract. To study the effects of ongoing infection after thermal injury on bowel mass, composition, and blood flow, male Wistar rats were randomized to receive either 30% scald burn, 30% scald burn with Pseudomonas aeruginosa wound inoculation, sham burn, or sham burn with pair feeding to burned and infected animals. On days 3 and 7 after injury, intestinal blood flow was measured with 51Cr-labeled microspheres, and intestinal mass and composition were analyzed. Burned and infected animals demonstrated a chronic loss of small bowel mass not seen in burned animals without infection by day 7 after injury. Compositional alterations of the small bowels of burned and infected animals included protein wasting similar to but occurring earlier than that seen with anorexia alone and significantly decreased deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid content, whereas tissue water content remained unchanged. These chronic intestinal alterations in the burned and infected group could not be explained by ongoing ischemia because intestinal blood flow in these animals was not significantly altered at either time point, implying mediation by other pathophysiologic mechanisms.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|
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