Protective effects of dexmedetomidine on small intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury in horses.

Strangulating small intestinal lesions in the horse have increased morbidity and mortality compared to nonstrangulating obstructions due to mucosal barrier disruption and subsequent endotoxaemia.
To investigate protective effects of dexmedetomidine on small intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury in the horse.
Randomised, controlled, experimental study.
Eighteen systemically healthy horses were randomly assigned to three groups: control, preconditioning, and post-conditioning. During isoflurane anaesthesia, complete ischaemia was induced in a 1-m segment of jejunum for 90 minutes. Horses in the preconditioning and post-conditioning groups received dexmedetomidine (3.5 µg/kg followed by 7 µg/kg/h) before (preconditioning) or after beginning ischaemia (post-conditioning), and during reperfusion. Jejunal biopsies were collected before ischaemia (baseline-1), at the end of the ischaemic period (ischaemia), and 30 minutes after reperfusion (reperfusion-1). Additional biopsies were taken 24 hours after reperfusion from ischaemia-reperfusion-injured jejunum (reperfusion-2). Epithelial injury was scored histologically, and morphometric analyses were used to calculate villus surface area (VSA) denuded of epithelium. Data were analysed using analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon two-sample tests.
In the control group, epithelial injury scores and percentage of VSA denudation for ischaemia-reperfusion-injured jejunum were higher compared to baseline-1 at all time points. The ischaemia and both reperfusion samples from the pre- and post-conditioning groups had lower epithelial injury scores and percentage of VSA epithelial denudation compared to the control group, with no difference from baseline-1 at any time point for the preconditioning group.
Preconditioning has limited application in the clinical setting with naturally occurring strangulating small intestinal lesions.
Dexmedetomidine was protective for small intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury in the horse when administered before or during ischaemia.
AuthorsAshley R VanderBroek, Julie B Engiles, Sabine B R Kästner, Veronika Kopp, Nicole Verhaar, Klaus Hopster
JournalEquine veterinary journal (Equine Vet J) Vol. 53 Issue 3 Pg. 569-578 (May 2021) ISSN: 2042-3306 [Electronic] United States
PMID32862437 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary)
Copyright© 2020 EVJ Ltd.
Chemical References
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Animals
  • Dexmedetomidine (pharmacology)
  • Horse Diseases (prevention & control)
  • Horses
  • Intestinal Mucosa
  • Intestine, Small
  • Jejunum
  • Reperfusion Injury (prevention & control, veterinary)

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