The physiology of adaptation to small bowel resection in the pig: an integrated study of morphological and functional changes

J Pediatr Surg. 1990 Jun;25(6):650-7. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(90)90356-e.


This study examined the adaptive response to extensive small intestinal resection in the juvenile domestic pig. Control animals underwent an ileal transection with end-to-end anastomosis, whereas resected pigs had a resection of the mid-75% of the total small bowel length. Animals were followed for 16 weeks. Resected animals gained less weight than controls, with no significant difference in feed intake per unit animal weight. In vivo fat, protein, carbohydrate, and total energy absorption were reduced in resected animals. Resected pigs had increased in vitro passive ileal uptake of fatty acids, cholesterol, and L-glucose, but no change in active D-glucose uptake. Microscopic morphology was altered, with an increase in the size of villi, a decrease in villous density, and no net change in mucosal surface area per unit of serosal surface area. Gross bowel length and diameter increased proportionately more in the resected than the control groups. This study demonstrated that massive resection results in a significant change in nutritional status in the growing pig. Functional and morphological changes occur, demonstrating intestinal adaptation. These findings suggest that this model would be suitable for the study of therapeutic modalities for the short-bowel syndrome in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Ileum / physiopathology
  • Ileum / surgery
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology
  • Intestine, Small / surgery*
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Swine / physiology*
  • Weight Gain / physiology