The microcirculation and oxygen supply at the oesophagogastric anastomosis are crucial factors that influence anastomotic healing after oesophagectomy.Methods
Twenty-nine patients (mean age 61.7 years) underwent gastric transposition via an orthotopic (14) or retrosternal (15) route. Interstitial partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) of the stomach in the anastomotic region was measured during oesophagectomy and in the intensive care unit. Interstitial PO2 values were determined after ligation of the short gastric vessels, after ligation of the left gastric artery, after forming the conduit and after gastric transposition. Postoperative measurements were recorded during endotracheal intubation, while breathing oxygen by mask or through the nose, and while breathing air.Results
Interstitial PO2 levels were significantly higher before ligation of the left gastric artery than after ligation (mean 76.1 (95 per cent confidence interval 54.9 to 103.1) versus 44.9 (24.6 to 77.1) mmHg; P = 0.001). Levels were also higher following orthotopic transposition compared with the retrosternal route (68.2 (44.0 to 118.8) versus 24.6 (10.7 to 39.4) mmHg; P = 0.001) and during each postoperative measurement period. No differences were found between the various oxygen supply systems.Conclusion
Oxygen supply at the anastomosis of the gastric conduit reaches higher levels after orthotopic than retrosternal gastric transposition.