Peritoneal Potassium and pH Measurement in Early Diagnosis of Acute Mesenteric Ischemia in Rats


Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran



In contemporary practice, acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) remains a serious cause of morbidity and mortality in abdominal emergencies.

We report the measurement of peritoneal fluid potassium and pH on a small series of rats that developed extensive AMI following the surgical ligation of superior mesenteric vessels and compare the results with control groups.

Materials and Methods
A total of 32 rats were used in our study. They were divided into four groups with eight rats in each one and received following treatments: group I (G-I), 60-minute controls; group II (G-II), 120-minute controls; group III (G-III), 60-minute cases; and group IV (G-IV), 120-minute cases. In case groups, the small bowel mesenteric root was double-ligated and an arrow single-lumen central venous catheter was passed through the skin to the peritoneum. In control groups, the catheter was placed without any intervention. Postoperatively, peritoneal lavage was performed at 60 (G-I, G-III) and 120 minutes (G-II, G-IV).

The mean peritoneal potassium values were 1.3 ± 0.3, 1.97 ± 1.06, 2.14 ± 0.89, and 3.28 ± 0.66 mmol/L in G-I, G-II, G-III, and G-IV, respectively. There were significant differences between G-III and G-IV (P = 0.002), between G-I and G-III (P = 0.024), and between G-II and G-IV (P = 0.001). The mean values of peritoneal fluid pH were 7.1 ± 0.26, 6.82 ± 0.22, 6.66 ± 0.16, and 6.78 ± 0.04 in G-I, G-II, G-III, and G-IV, respectively, which indicated significant differences between G-I and G-III (P = 0.001) and between G-II and G-IV (P = 0.018). There was a significant correlation between peritoneal fluid potassium and intestine ischemic grade (F = 4.77, P = 0.048)

Our findings show that for early detection of bowel ischemia, an evaluation of intraperitoneal potassium and pH was useful and with prolongation of ischemia, potassium changes were more significant.