1. The role of allopurinol in the protection of kidney function following ischaemia—reperfusion injury has been investigated using the novel technique of near-infrared spectroscopy.

2. An in vivo model of rat kidney ischaemia was used, with the expected falls in blood and tissue oxygenation seen and confirmed by near-infrared spectroscopy.

3. Allopurinol infusion increased the rate of reperfusion of oxygenated blood seen in control rats (P < 0.05).

4. Allopurinol enhanced the rate of tissue oxygenation during early reperfusion (P < 0.01).

5. This study provides further evidence for the proposed benefits of allopurinol in ischaemia—reperfusion injury. Furthermore, the potential of near-infrared spectroscopy as a technique of value in interventional studies of this nature is confirmed.

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