A successful short-bowel syndrome model in neonatal piglets.

V.H. Heemskerk*, L.W.E. van Heurn, P. Farla, W.A. Buurman, F. Piersma, G. ter Riet, E. Heineman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Surgery, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: With the higher survival rate of premature neonates as a result of improved neonatal intensive care, the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis, and thus the incidence of short-bowel syndrome, is increasing. An appropriate animal model resembling the (premature) neonate with short-bowel syndrome suitable for clinically relevant neonatal bowel adaptation and intervention studies, is not available at present. The purpose of this study was the development of a short-bowel syndrome model that mimics the clinical state of the affected neonatal patient. METHODS: Sixteen 7-day-old piglets received either a small bowel transection (group A) or a 75% resection (group B). The piglets were fed 125 kcal/kg body weight per day, including additional electrolytes. The animals were weighed daily and were killed 28 days after surgery. Bowel samples were obtained at both time points. RESULTS: Mortality rates in groups A and B were 0% and 8%, respectively. Body weight gain was significantly higher in group A than in group B (156% vs. 93%; P = 0.01). Jejunal villus length was higher in group B than in group A (74% vs. -2%; P = 0.006), and crypt depth was higher in group B in both jejunum (201% vs. 67%; P = 0.001) and ileum, (197% vs. 20%; P = 0.001), than in group A. CONCLUSIONS: In 7-day-old piglets 75% small bowel resection leads to a clinical short-bowel syndrome, demonstrated by reduced weight gain and typical changes in bowel adaptation parameters. The excellent survival of the animals provides a possibility for the study of bowel adaptation in a neonatal model as well as in intervention studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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