Use of a model of small bowel mucosa to predict passive absorption.

D. G. Levitt, J. H. Bond, M. D. Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if the observed rate of passive absorption of inert gases from the canine small bowel could be predicted by the use of an anatomical model of the mucosa and measurements of villus blood flow and the diffusive barrier to absorption. Villus blood flow was measured with microspheres and the diffusive barrier separating bulk luminal contents and blood was estimated from CO absorption. The model predicts initial uptake of the inert gases (H2, He, CH4, and 133Xe) in blood at the villus tip, subsequent countercurrent exchange in the villus, and longitudinal diffusion of the gases down the villus to a subvillus blood flow. Observed absorption rates for each of these four gases were reasonably accurately predicted by the model at both basal villus blood flow and at low villus blood flow induced by hypotension. We suggest that this model can be used to predict passive absorption kinetics over a range of villus blood flows and to predict the influence of a variety of parameters on the rate of passive absorption of diffusible substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1980


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