Scanning Microscopy


Volvulus of the ascending colon (ACV) in the horse results in microvascular injury and necrosis of the intestinal mucosa. This study investigated the site and type of microvascular injury which occurs within the mucosa and sub mucosa following ACV. Histopathology of volvulus treated ponies demonstrated mucosa! necrosis with microvascular hemorrhage and thrombosis. Thrombi occurred within the subepithelial capillaries and edema and hemorrhage developed throughout the mucosa and submucosa. Vascular casts allowed 3-D viewing of samples obtained from the entire pelvic flexure and demonstrated two distinct microvascular changes: 1) disruption of the colonic glandular capillary network occurred concomitantly with the mucosal injury, and 2) extensive endothelial leakage from the submucosal microvasculature contributes to edema formation. Thus, microcorrosion casting of the equine pelvic flexure provided an effective means to characterize the location and severity of vascular leakage and visualize the extent and severity of injury to the capillary network not easily depicted by histopathology. Microvascular casting in conjunction with routine histopathology provided additional information on the pathomorphologic changes in this model of ischemia/reperfusion injury.

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