An experimental animal model of intestinal obstruction to simulate in utero therapy for jejunoileal atresia

Mario Patricolo, Giuseppe Noia, Lorenzo Rossi, Andrea Zangari, Francesco Pomini, Carlo Catesini, Renzo Filippetti, Tommaso Galli, Barbara Daniela Iacobelli, L. G. Capuano, Domenico Romano, Salvatore Mancuso, Massimo Rivosecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To obtain 'intestinal atresia-like' conditions in the fetal lamb model to subsequently allow in utero surgical repair. Methods: Six time-dated pregnant sheep underwent general anesthesia at 75 days of gestation (term 145 ± 5 days). After maternal laparotomy and hysterotomy, the fetal abdomen was opened. Once the jejunoileal intestinal loop was identified, the mesenteric vessels were isolated, ligated, and sectioned in 2 fetuses, and in the remaining 5 fetuses the bowel loop was ligated. Two further fetuses were used as controls and underwent sole laparotomy. Of the group of 7 fetuses 2 were reoperated at 100-105 days of gestational age and underwent intestinal recanalization. Eight fetuses were delivered at term by cesarean section and the remaining 1 by spontaneous delivery. One newborn underwent neonatal entero-enteric anastomosis. Results: 4 out of 6 fetuses survived, in utero intestinal or vascular ligation having provoked an 'intestinal atresia-like' picture. The animal operated at birth died. The 2 control fetuses and the 2 fetuses with in utero intestinal recanalization survived until term. Conclusion: The present study shows that in utero treatment of intestinal obstruction is possible in an experimental model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-301
Number of pages4
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Bowel atresia
  • Fetal surgery, experimental model
  • Fetus, intestinal atresia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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