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Swine Models of Aneurysmal Diseases for Training and Research

Published: March 23rd, 2022



1Cardiovascular Area, Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre, 2Centro de Investigación Biomédica En Red de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares CIBERCV, 3Scientific Director, Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre, 4Microsurgery Unit, Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre

Large animal models, specifically swine, are widely used to research cardiovascular diseases and therapies, as well as for training purposes. This paper describes two different aneurysmal swine models that may help researchers to study new therapies for aneurysmal diseases. These aneurysmal models are created by surgically adding a pouch of tissue to carotid arteries in swine. When the model is used for research, the pouch must be autologous; for training purposes, a synthetic pouch suffices.

First, the right external jugular vein (EJV) and right common carotid artery (CCA) must be surgically exposed. The EJV is ligated and a vein pouch fashioned from a short segment. This pouch is then sutured to an elliptical arteriotomy performed in the CCA. Animals must be kept heparinized during model creation, and local vasodilators may be used to decrease vasospasms. Once the suture is completed, correct blood flow should be inspected, checking for bleeding from the suture line and vessel patency. Finally, the surgical incision is closed by layers and an angiography performed to image the aneurysmal model.

A simplification of this aneurysmal carotid model that decreases invasiveness and surgical time is the use of a synthetic, rather than venous, pouch. For this purpose, a pouch is tailored in advance with a segment of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) prosthesis, one end of which is sutured close using polypropylene vascular suture and sterilized prior to surgery. This "sac" is then attached to an arteriotomy performed in the CCA as described.

Although these models do not reproduce many of the physiopathological events related to aneurysm formation, they are hemodynamically similar to the situation found in the clinical setting. Therefore, they can be used for research or training purposes, allowing physicians to learn and practice different endovascular techniques in animal models that are close to the human system.


Keywords Swine Model

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