Splanchnic vasoconstriction and bacterial translocation after thermal injury

W. G. Jones, J. P. Minei, A. E. Barber, T. J. Fahey, G. T. Shires, G. T. Shires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Gut barrier failure and bacterial translocation (BT) after thermal injury may result from splanchnic vasoconstriction and intestinal ischemia. The role of the renin-angiotensin system in intestinal blood flow and BT after thermal injury was studied by pretreatment with the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor enalapril in Wistar rats before sham or 30% scald burn. Adequacy of ACE inhibition was documented by the absence of a hypertensive response to angiotensin I, and intestinal blood flow was determined using 51Cr-labeled microspheres. Small bowel blood flow was decreased by 46% at 4-h postburn (P < 0.05) in untreated burned animals despite maintenance of normal cardiac index but returned to baseline levels by 24 h after injury. Enalapril pretreatment resulted in maintenance of small bowel blood flow after thermal injury and was associated with a significantly reduced incidence of BT (20% vs. 75% in untreated burned animals, P < 0.01). These findings further implicate intestinal ischemia in the etiology of gut barrier dysfunction after thermal injury, mediated in part by activation of the renin-angiotensin system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1190-H1196
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 30-4
StatePublished - 1991


  • angiotensin
  • burn injury
  • enalapril
  • gut barrier
  • renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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