Low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) has been widely used for prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Several studies have shown that mucosal breaks caused by taking low-dose ASA occurred not only in the upper gastrointestinal tract but also in the lower gastrointestinal tract. However the cause of small bowel injury is not clear. One of the mechanisms of drug-induced small bowel damage is decrease in blood flow.
A research article to be published on January 14, 2011 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The authors investigated the relationship between low-dose ASA-induced small bowel mucosal damage and small bowel blood flow, and also evaluated the preventive effect of rebamipide against small bowel damage and the effect of rebamipide on blood flow.
The results indicated that low-dose ASA-induced decrease in small bowel blood flow is correlated with small-bowel mucosal injury. Rebamipide does not decrease small bowel blood flow.
This study may represent a future strategy for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of patients with low-dose aspirin-induced small bowel mucosal damage.