Jejunum is one of the most frequently used free flaps in esophagus reconstruction. However, the sensitivity of intestinal tissue to ischemia decreases the margin of safety of this donor site while increasing the risk of postoperative complications such as fistula formation and stenosis. Ischemic preconditioning can increase the tolerance of jejunal tissue to ischemia. In this study, the authors investigated the effects of chemical preconditioning with adenosine infusion on ischemia reperfusion injury in the rat jejunum, and evaluated the presence of any additive effects of adenosine administration when used together with ischemic preconditioning. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats weighting 200 to 250 mg were used in the study. Rats were randomly divided into five groups. In group I (sham-operated controls), only laparotomy was performed. In group II (ischemia-reperfusion injury), the superior mesenteric artery was clamped for 40 minutes to induce ischemia in the small bowel, followed by 60 minutes of reperfusion. In group III (ischemic preconditioning), two cycles of 5-minute ischemia and 5-minute reperfusion were performed before implementation of the ischemia-reperfusion protocol used in group II. In group IV (chemical preconditioning), adenosine (1000 μg/kg) was infused into the internal jugular vein before the group II ischemia-reperfusion schedule was implemented. In group V (adenosine-enhanced ischemic preconditioning), adenosine (1000 μg/kg) was infused into the internal jugular vein before ischemic preconditioning, followed by 40 minutes of ischemia and 60 minutes of reperfusion. At the end of the reperfusion period, samples from the jejunum were harvested and myeloperoxidase activity was determined as a measure of leukocyte accumulation. Malondialdehyde levels were measured to assess lipid peroxidation. Histopathologic sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin were evaluated for the presence of mucosal damage according to the Chiu scoring method. Immunohistochemical staining by M30 monoclonal antibodies was performed to quantify the number of ischemia-induced apoptotic cells in the intestinal mucosa. The myeloperoxidase and malondialdehyde levels were significantly lower in groups I, III, IV, and V when compared with group II. Although there were no significant differences among myeloperoxidase and malondialdehyde levels in groups III, IV, and V, group I had significantly lower levels of activity compared with the other three groups. Histological scoring reflected significantly less damage in groups I, III, IV, and V compared with group II. Similarly, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly lower in groups I, III, IV, and V when compared with group II. However, no difference was detected among these four groups with regard to either histopathological scoring or apoptosis numbers. This is the first study showing that adenosine administration is as effective as ischemic preconditioning in inducing ischemic tolerance in the rat jejunum. However, there was no enhancement of ischemic preconditioning with prior adenosine infusion.