OBJECTIVES: Intestinal obstruction has a high mortality rate when therapeutic treatment is delayed. Resuscitation in intestinal obstruction requires a large volume of fluid, and fluid combinations have been studied. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of hypertonic saline solution (HS) with pentoxifylline (PTX) on apoptosis, oxidative stress and survival rate. METHODS: Wistar rats were subjected to intestinal obstruction and ischemia through a closed loop ligation of the terminal ileum and its vessels. After 24 hours, the necrotic bowel segment was resected, and the animals were randomized into four groups according to the following resuscitation strategies: Ringer's lactate solution (RL) (RL-32 ml/kg); RL+PTX (25 mg/kg); HS+PTX (HS, 7.5%, 4 ml/kg), and no resuscitation (IO-intestinal obstruction and ischemia). Euthanasia was performed 3 hours after resuscitation to obtain kidney and intestine samples. A malondialdehyde (MDA) assay was performed to evaluate oxidative stress, and histochemical analyses (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling [TUNEL], Bcl-2 and Bax) were conducted to evaluate kidney apoptosis. Survival was analyzed with another series of animals that were observed for 15 days. RESULTS: PTX in combination with RL or HS reduced the MDA levels (nmol/mg of protein), as follows: kidney IO=0.42; RL=0.49; RL+PTX=0.31; HS+PTX=0.34 (p<0.05); intestine: IO=0.42; RL=0.48; RL+PTX=0.29; HS+PTX=0.26 (p<0.05). The number of labeled cells for TUNEL and Bax was lower in the HS+PTX group than in the other groups (p<0.05). The Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was lower in the HS+PTX group than in the other groups (p<0.05). The survival rate on the 15th day was higher in the HS+PTX group (77%) than in the RL+PTX group (11%). CONCLUSION: PTX in combination with HS enhanced survival and attenuated oxidative stress and apoptosis. However, when combined with RL, PTX did not reduce apoptosis or mortality.