Distal Small Bowel Resection Yields Enhanced Intestinal and Colonic Adaptation

Maria E. Tecos, Allie E. Steinberger, Jun Guo, Brad W. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Murine ileocecal resection (ICR) has been used to investigate intestinal adaptation. The established model often includes the sacrifice of significant length of the proximal colon. Here, we optimized a highly selective vascular approach to the ICR, with primary jejunal-colic anastomosis yielding maximal colonic preservation. Materials and methods: Forty C57BL/6 mice underwent a highly vascularly selective ICR. The terminal branches of the ileocecal artery are isolated apart from the mesenteric branches supplying the small bowel to be resected. The distal 50% of small bowel and cecum are resected; a primary jejuno-colonic anastomosis is performed. Animals were sacrificed at postoperative weeks 2 (n = 10) and 10 (n = 29). Proximal 50% small bowel resection (SBR) with jejuno-ileal anastomosis was also performed for comparison. Results: The entire colon (with exception of the cecum) was preserved in 100% of animals. Ninety-seven percent of animals survived to postoperative week 10, and all exhibited structural adaptation in the remnant small intestine epithelium. Crypts deepened by 175%, and villi lengthened by 106%, versus 39% and 29% in the proximal SBR cohort, respectively. Colonic proliferation, structural adaptation, and functional adaptation (measured by p-histone 3, luminal-facing apical crypt border size, and sucrase isomaltase, respectively) were increased in ICR compared with proximal SBR. Conclusions: Highly selective isolation of the cecal vasculature allows for greater colon preservation and yields enhanced remnant intestine epithelial adaptation. ICR is also associated with greater colonic adaptation and unique plasticity toward an intestinal phenotype. These findings underscore major differences between resection sites and offer insights into the critical adaptive mechanisms in response to massive intestinal loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Colonic adaptation
  • Ileocecal resection
  • Intestinal adaptation
  • Intestinal failure
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Small bowel resection


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