OBJECTIVE - The authors assessed the ability of a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometer to noninvasively detect mesenteric ischemia in a rabbit model.
SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA - Superconducting Quantum Interference Device magnetometers have been used to detect magnetic fields created by the basic electrical rhythm (BER) and to detect changes in BER of exteriorized bowel of anesthetized rabbits during mesenteric ischemia.
METHODS - The BER of rabbit ileum was noninvasively measured transabdominally using a SQUID magnetometer and compared with the electrical activity recorded with surgically implanted serosal electrodes before, during, and after snare occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery.
RESULTS - Transabdominal SQUID recording of BER frequency was highly correlated to the measurements obtained with electrodes (R = 0.91). Basic electrical rhythm frequency decreased from 16.4 +/- 0.8 to 8.3 +/- 0.3 cpm (p < 0.001) after 25 minutes of ischemia. Reperfusion of ischemic bowel resulted in recovery of BER frequency to 14.3 +/- 0.4 cpm 10 minutes after blood flow was restored.
CONCLUSIONS - A SQUID magnetometer is capable of noninvasively detecting mesenteric ischemia reliably and at an early stage by detecting a significant drop in BER frequency. These positive findings have encouraged the authors to continue development of clinically useful, noninvasive, detection of intestinal magnetic fields using SQUID magnetometers.