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Microvascular circulation of the small intestine in horses






American Journal of Veterinary Research 53(6): 995-1000

Microvascular circulation of the small intestine in horses

The microvascular anatomic features of the small intestine was described by correlating results of microangiography, light microscropy, gross studies, and scanning electron microscopy of vascular replicas in 14 horses. After heparinization, the horses were ethanatized, a length of jejenum was transected, and blood was flushed free of the circulation, using isotonic NaCl solution. In six horses, the circulatory system was perfused with a modified radiopaque medium and evaluated radiographically. These sections were then evaluated by standard histologic methods. Sections from 8 horses were perfused with 1 of 2 types of plastics and studied grosly or by scanning electron microscopy. The marginal arterial arcade gives rise to vessels that enter the jejunum at the mesenteric angle. These vessels penetrated either directly, by branching and entering on both sides of the mesenteric angle, or supplying only 1 side of the mesenteric angle. All these vessels continued in the submucosa branching extensively, forming a submucosal plexus. This submucosal plexus supplied the tunica muscularis, tunica serosa, and the mucosa. Vessels within the 2 muscle layers ran parallel to the muscle fibers and, consequently, perpendicular to each other. The arterial supply to the mucosa penetrated the muscularis mucosae and branched to supply 2 mucosal capillary networks. An eccentrically placed arteriole penetrated the base of the villus and spiralled to the tip where it "fountained" into a mesh-like capillary network, which descended peripherally in the villus to drain via 1 to 3, but most commonly 2 venules. Venules from adjacent villi united and drained via the submucosal vein. The second capillary network supplied the glands of the intestinal crypts. The capillary network around adjacent gland anastomosed just below the luminal surface. There were connections between this network and the base of the villus capillary network. Drainage of the glandular capillary network was through these connections and through the villus venules. There was no evidence of arterovenous anastomoses.

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Accession: 002433198

PMID: 1626791



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