A technique for segmental rectal and colonic perfusion in humans

Am J Gastroenterol. 1992 Oct;87(10):1453-9.


To enable a better characterization of pathophysiologic processes in colon and rectum, we have developed a perfusion technique for collection of soluble substances and cells from standardized intestinal segments. A tube with balloons attached to its outer wall was endoscopically introduced into the rectum and sigmoid colon, and its position ascertained fluoroscopically. The balloons delimited two segments, one in the sigmoid colon and one in the rectum. The segments were simultaneously perfused by a buffer at 37 degrees C. After a 30-min rinsing period, perfusate and cells were collected at 20-min intervals. Of 51 attempted perfusions, 45 were successfully completed. Recovered volumes equaled those infused. Leakage from the proximal intestine to the segments was negligible. In 18 healthy volunteers, the mean perfusate concentration from the rectal segment was 57.5 (27.5-120.2) mg/L for albumin, 1.3 (1.0-1.7) micrograms/L for eosinophil cationic protein, 5.1 (2.8-9.5) ng/L for prostaglandin E2, and 61.7 (41.7-89.1) micrograms/L for hyaluronan, and all values were lower in the sigmoid segment. Steady state conditions were achieved from the second perfusion period. The perfusate contained 4-80 x 10(4) cells, more than 95% of which were epithelial cells. The technique is safe, has a good subject compliance, and seems to be a valuable tool in investigations on quantitative release of soluble substances and cells in, e.g., colorectal inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Colon, Sigmoid / chemistry*
  • Colon, Sigmoid / cytology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Intubation / methods*
  • Male
  • Perfusion / methods
  • Proctoscopy
  • Rectum / chemistry*
  • Rectum / cytology*
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*