Preoperative feeding preserves heart function and decreases oxidative injury in rats

Nutrition. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(7-8):859-66. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2004.12.005.


Objective: The nutritional status of a patient has been implicated as an important factor in the development of postoperative complications. Fasting before an operation may have detrimental effects on the metabolic state. We hypothesized that there was a positive correlation between preoperative nutritional status and postoperative organ function.

Methods: Preoperative feeding was compared with fasting with respect to effects on organ function and biochemical parameters in an animal model of extensive large abdominal surgery. Male Wistar rats were fed ad libitum or fasted for 16 h, after which the arteria mesenterica superior was clamped for 60 min followed by 180 min of reperfusion.

Results: After the ischemic period, heart function was significantly better in animals that were fed ad libitum than in fasted animals. Moreover, after intestinal ischemia and reperfusion, fed rats showed significantly higher levels of intestinal adenosine triphosphate and a significantly higher malondialdehyde concentration in the intestine and lung than did fasted rats. The ratio of adenosine triphosphate to adenosine diphosphate in the liver, an indicator of energy status, in fed rats was similar to that in a sham group, whereas fasted animals showed a significantly lower value.

Conclusions: Preoperative nutrition in contrast to fasting may attenuate ischemia/reperfusion-induced injury and preserve organ function in the rat.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiac Output
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fasting
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
  • Heart Rate
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / blood supply
  • Ischemia / complications
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Multiple Organ Failure / prevention & control*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Malondialdehyde