Evaluation of jejunal microvasculature of healthy anesthetized dogs with sidestream dark field video microscopy

Kaitlyn M Mullen, Penny J Regier, Leonel A Londoño, Kristina Millar, Jenny Groover
American Journal of Veterinary Research, Volume 81: Issue 11, 01 Nov 2020



To determine the feasibility of sidestream dark field (SDF) video microscopy for the evaluation of the jejunal microvasculature of healthy dogs.


30 healthy sexually intact female shelter dogs anesthetized for ovariohysterectomy.


Preoperative physical and clinicopathologic assessments were performed to confirm health status. Then healthy dogs were anesthetized, and the abdomen was incised at the ventral midline for ovariohysterectomy and jejunal microvasculature evaluation. An SDF video microscope imaged the microvasculature of 2 sites of a portion of the jejunum, and recorded videos were analyzed with software capable of quantitating parameters of microvascular health. Macrovascular parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and hemoglobin oxygen saturation) were also recorded during anesthesia.


Quantified jejunal microvascular parameters included valid microvascular density (mean ± SD, 251.72 ± 97.10 μm/mm), RBC-filling percentage (66.96 ± 8.00%), RBC column width (7.11 ± 0.72 μm), and perfused boundary region (2.17 ± 0.42 μm). The perfused boundary region and RBC-filling percentage had a significant negative correlation. Strong to weak positive correlations were noted among the perfused boundary regions of small-, medium-, and large-sized microvessels. No significant correlations were identified between microvascular parameters and age, body weight, preoperative clinicopathologic results, or macrovascular parameters.


Interrogation of the jejunal microvasculature of healthy dogs with SDF video microscopy was feasible. Results of this study indicated that SDF video microscopy is worth additional investigation, including interrogation of diseased small intestine in dogs.