Ex vivo recirculation perfusion preparations of the canine pancreas are useful for the study of pancreatic physiology and exocrine secretory function. Vagaries of isolated ex vivo organ perfusion, however, require a thorough familiarity with available circulation media and component technology. Electrolyte and acid-base homeostasis can be facilitated by incorporating a dialysis unit into the perfusion circuit. Viability of the preparation is best assessed by constancy of vascular resistance and oxygen extraction during the period of perfusion. Limitations imposed by this closed method of organ perfusion on studies of pancreatic endocrine function and on duodenopancreatic hormonal interactions (enteroinsular axis) must be recognized.
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