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You are here: Back issues » acp-2010 » acp-4-2010 » 05_hiebl

Gross anatomical variants of the vasculature of the GöttingenTM minipig

B. Hiebl, C. Müller, H. Hünigen, O. Gemeinhardt, J. Plendl, F. Jung, B. Hamm, S. M. Niehues
[Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 14: 236-243, 2010]


Objectives: The GöttingenTM minipig has become increasingly popular in cardiovascular research, because physiological and anatomical features of the porcine cardiovascular system are comparable to humans. To support refinement of biomedical studies on this animal model we used contrast enhanced computed tomography (CECT) to study the vasculature of the neck, the proximal parts of the limbs and the abdomen for variants.
Methods: 18 pre-adult female GöttingenTM minipigs (16 ± 4 months old) were included in the study. The body weight was 30.8 ± 9.0 kg. Prior to CECT anaesthesia was performed using ketamine, xylazine and azaperone. CECT was performed in prone position on a 64-slice scanner (LightSpeedTM 64, GE Medical Systems, IL, USA) after intravenous injection of 80 ml nonionic iodinated contrast medium (XenetiXTM 350, Guerbet GmbH, Germany) in each pig. Image analysis was performed using Advantage Windows 4.2 (GE Medical Systems, IL, USA) and AMIRATM (Visage Imaging GmbH, Germany).
Results: The study demonstrated variants in the vasculature of pre-adult GöttingenTM minipigs concerning the linguofacial vein, the subclavian vein, the caudal vena cava, the common iliac vein, the cranial mesenteric artery and the renal arteries and veins.
Conclusion: In individual cases variants of the vasculature can be found in the GöttingenTM minipig which might cause complications when performing manipulations within the vasculature like implantation of e.g. stents, vascular prostheses or catheters.

Key words: vasculature, minipig, variants, computed tomography

Correspondence address:
Bernhard Hiebl, M.D.
Center for Biomaterial  Development and
Berlin Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH
Kantstr. 55                 
14513 Teltow
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