Low molecular weight dextran in experimental pancreatitis: Effects on pancreatic microcirculation

James A. Knol, Leslie P. Edgcomb, Mark G. Inman, Frederic E. Eckhauser

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31 Scopus citations


Although low molecular weight (LMW) dextran has been said to decrease the lethality of experimental acute pancreatitis (AP) by reversing stasis in the pancreatic microcirculation, the actual mechanism(s) of action is unknown. This investigation was designed to measure the effects of low molecular weight dextran on pancreatic capillary flow (QCAP) and arteriovenous shunt flow (QAVS), and on pancreatic oxygen consumption (O2CP) following bile-trypsin-induced AP in dogs. Total pancreatic blood flow (QT) was measured with an electromagnetic flow probe on the superior pancreaticoduodenal artery (SPDA). QAVS was measured by liver trapping of 99mTc-albumin microspheres after SPDA injection. QCAP was calculated as QT minus QAVS. Seventeen dogs were treated with lactated Ringer's (LR) solution at 6.5 ml/kg/hr; 10 dogs were treated with LMW dextran 10% in normal saline at 1.5 ml/kg/hr plus LR at 5.0 ml/kg/hr. Mean arterial and central venous pressures remained constant throughout the 4-hr experiment. In the dogs receiving LR only, QT decreased from 42.7 to 24.4 ml/min (P < 0.001); QAVS remained constant at 1.35 ± 0.04 ml/min. During the first 30 min O2CP decreased from 1.17 to 0.76 ml O2/min (P < 0.05) and remained constant thereafter. LMW dextran treatment altered none of these hemodynamic or metabolic parameters significantly. Conclusions: bile trypsin AP in the dog causes significant decreases in QT and QCAP without altering QAVS. The decrease in O2CP in association with a constant QAVS suggests a metabolic block to oxygen uptake at the cellular level. Continuous infusion of LMW dextran at a dose of 1.5 ml/kg/hr in the dog does not reverse these abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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