Aspirin Can Become a Pain in the Butt, Literally

Low-dose aspirin associated with small bowel blood flow

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(RxWiki News) Low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), also known as aspirin, is commonly used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Now, new research shows that low-dose aspirin is associated with mucosal breaks.

A mucosal break is defined as any lesion of the mucous membrane. 

For their study, researchers sought to establish a relationship between small bowel damage caused low-dose aspirin and levels of small bowel blood flow. The researchers also examined the effects of rebamipide (an amino acid used for mucosal protection) on small bowel damage and small bowel blood flow.

The researchers found that low-dose aspirin reduced small bowel blood flow. When blood flow decreased, the risk of small bowel mucosal injury increased. They also found that rebamipide did not reduce small bowel blood flow.

Although scientists are uncertain of the specific cause of small bowel injury, they now know that reduced blood flow is related to such injuries. This study offers a starting point for future researchers looking for ways to reduce small bowel mucosal damage caused by low doses of aspirin.

The study appears in the January 14, 2011 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Last Updated:
January 26, 2011