Small Bowel Injury by Ethanol
This chapter deals with those aspects of ethanol-induced changes in transport in which specific steps of these alterations can be correlated with defined changes in small intestinal injury. Small intestinal injury can occur as a result of acute administration of ethanol or as a consequence of prolonged intake by chronic alcoholics. By correlating multiple ethanol effects on morphology, blood flow, and the agents involved in mediating these effects, the author hopes to provide an overall understanding of the mechanisms of acute ethanol injury to the small bowel. Morphological studies indicated that the mucosal and submucosal damage caused by ethanol was accompanied by severe vascular congestion of the villus. With the considerable loss of serum protein into the lumen, the question arises as to whether the protein loss was the result of increased epithelial or mainly of microvascular permeability. The mucosa may be permeable in two directions: from the lumen toward the gut or from the tissues toward the lumen.