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Changes in the volumes of blood and extra-cellular fluid in bowel obstruction of the rabbit

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Experimental obstruction of the upper portion of the jejunum by a soft ligature in rabbits resulted in an increase in the blood hematocrit of 23 to 40 per cent in 6 of 8 animals. The increase in the other two was 5 and 10 per cent but their total volume of red cells decreased. There was no visible sign of hemolysis in the serum of any of the rabbits.

The plasma volume decreased in all animals, the percentage decrease ranging from 23 to 29 per cent.

The volume of extra-cellular fluid outside of the circulating blood stream decreased, with one exception, 19 to 34 per cent below the normal. The data of one animal clearly showed the movement of tissue fluid into the blood stream after some hemoconcentration had been attained. In Rabbit 3, tissue fluid apparently did not significantly move into the blood stream.

Other evidence of circulatory failure, was the apparent cyanosis, blanched, cold skin of the ear, poor cutaneous, hyperemic response to stimuli and inability to withstand removal of a small volume of blood.

It is concluded that the loss of sodium, chloride and water into the obstructed bowel of rabbits leads to a reduction of plasma and tissue fluid volumes, with the accompanying circulatory failure.

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Correspondence to C. A. Ender or R. C. Herrin.

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Ender, C.A., Herrin, R.C. Changes in the volumes of blood and extra-cellular fluid in bowel obstruction of the rabbit. Jour. D. D. 12, 193–196 (1945). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02998442

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  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Plasma Volume
  • Polycythemia
  • Circulatory Failure