The role of luminal contents in radiation enteritis

Michael W. Mulholland, Seymour H. Levitt, Chang W. Song, Roger A. Potish, John P. Delaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A guinea pig model was used to evaluate luminal content as a factor in the development of acute radiation enteritis. Surgical bypass of one half of the small bowel created an isolated segment free of luminal contents. Radiation effects on this empty intestine were compared with effects on bowel in continuity, on intestine containing bile only, and on intestine containing pancreatic enzymes plus food. The animals were subjected to a single dose of 1600 rad via an abdominal port and killed 4 days later. Surviving crypts per circumference provided one index of the severity of the injury. Intestinal damage was further evaluated by histologic grading. Surviving crypts were significantly fewer for irradiated segments of bowel containing any of the components of the intestinal stream compared to either nonirradiated controls or irradiated but empty bowel. Histologic scoring revealed a gradation of injury, with progressively more severe damage in empty irradiated bowel, and in intestine containing only pancreatic secretion, bile, and all components of the luminal stream. We conclude that both bile and pancreatic secretions in the lumen enhance acute radiation‐induced small‐bowel injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2396-2402
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984


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