Background/aims: This study describes the peritoneal microcirculation, compares quantitative parameters and angioarchitecture to the standard of sublingual microcirculatory assessment, and determines the practical feasibility of this method.
Methods: Incident dark field imaging was performed of the peritoneum and sublingually to determine angioarchitecture, total and perfused vessel density (TVD and PVD), the proportion of perfused vessels (PPV), the microvascular flow index (MFI) and image acquisition time.
Results: Peritoneal angioarchitecture was characterized by a quadrangular network of longitudinally oriented capillaries, often flanked by fat cells. Differences between peritoneal and sublingual microcirculation were observed with regard to TVD (peritoneum 12 mm/mm2 [95% CI 10-14] vs. sublingual 23 mm/mm2 [95% CI 21-25]; p < 0.0001), PVD (peritoneum 11 mm/mm2 [95% CI 9-13] vs. sublingual 23 mm/mm2 [95% CI 21-25]; p < 0.0001), PPV (peritoneum 88% [95% CI 79-97] vs. sublingual 99% [95% CI 99-100]; p = 0.014), and MFI (peritoneum 3 [IQR 2.3-3.0] vs. sublingual 3 [IQR 3.0-3.0]; p = 0.012). There was no difference in image acquisition time (peritoneum 2: 34 min [95% CI 1: 49-3: 19] vs. sublingual 2: 38 [95% CI 1: 37-3: 32]; p = 0.916).
Conclusion: The peritoneal microcirculation was characterized by a low capillary density and a distinctive angioarchitecture. The possibility of peri-toneal microcirculatory assessment offers promise for the study of peritoneal (patho-)physiology and (monitoring or detection of) associated diseases.
Keywords: In vivo microcirculation; Incident dark field imaging; Peritoneal microcirculation.
© 2018 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.