Background: Short bowel syndrome is a condition with substantial morbidity and mortality, yet definitive therapies are lacking. Distraction enterogenesis uses mechanical force to "grow" new intestine. In this study, we examined whether intestinal plication can be used to safely achieve spring-mediated intestinal lengthening in a functioning segment of jejunum in its native position.
Methods: A total of 12 juvenile, miniature Yucatan pigs underwent laparotomy to place either compressed springs or expanded springs within a segment of jejunum (n = 6 per group). The springs were secured within the jejunum by performing intestinal plication to narrow the intestinal lumen around the spring. After 3 weeks, the jejunum was retrieved and examined for lengthening and for histologic changes.
Results: There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications, and the pigs tolerated their diets and gained weight. Segments of jejunum containing expanded springs showed no significant change in length over the 3 weeks. In contrast, jejunum containing compressed springs showed nearly a 3-fold increase in length (P < .001). Histology of the retrieved jejunum showed a significant increase in thickness of the muscularis propria and in crypt depth relative to normal jejunum.
Conclusion: Intestinal plication is effective in securing endoluminal springs to lengthen the jejunum. This approach is a clinically relevant model because it allows for normal GI function and growth of animals during intestinal lengthening, which may be useful in lengthening intestine in patients with short bowel syndrome.
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