Gastrointestinal tract O2 uptake and regional blood flows during digestion in conscious newborn lambs

D. I. Edelstone, I. R. Holzman

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We determined gastrointestinal tract O2 uptake, cardiac output, regional blood flows, and whole-body O2 uptake before and for 1-6 h after feeding in 10 chronically catheterized unanesthetized lambs (9-15 days of age). Total gastrointestinal blood flow (sum of blood flows to the stomach, small intestine, and colon, as calculated with the radioactive microsphere technique) increased 23% at 1 h post-prandially. This increased flow at 1 h was due to a large increase in blood flow to the stomach, whereas blood flows to the small intestine and colon did not change significantly. By 2 h, stomach blood flow and thus total gastrointestinal blood flow had returned to fasting values. In contrast, total O2 uptake by the gastrointestinal tract organs (stomach, small intestine, and colon) increased 65% at 1 h, 51% at 2 h, and 28% at 3 h postprandially in association with increases in O2 extraction (O2 uptake/O2 delivery) of 41% at 1 h, 45% at 2 h, and 27% at 3 h. There were no digestion-related changes in whole-body O2 uptake or in cardiac output and its distribution to the brain, heart, kidney, liver (hepatic artery), and carcass. Our data indicate that postprandial increases in O2 demand by gastrointestinal tract organs of the newborn animal are met primarily by enhanced tissue O2 extraction, rather than by metabolic hyperemia, because the postprandial hyperemia observed in the neonate is of short duration and is confined to the stomach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-293
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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