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Lab Anim (NY). 2009 Jul;38(7):241-5. doi: 10.1038/laban0709-241.

Sonographically guided placement of intravenous catheters in minipigs.

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  • 1CharitéCentrum 6, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Universitätmedizin, Berlin, Germany.


Many procedures in minipigs require establishment of reliable deep venous access with a large-bore catheter. In animal experiments, such catheters are typically implanted surgically. In clinical settings, however, ultrasound imaging is routinely used to facilitate safe, minimally invasive puncture of deep vessels. The authors describe a technique for using ultrasound guidance to puncture and cannulate the minipig femoral vein. They carried out the procedure in six minipigs for the purpose of injecting contrast agents for subsequent imaging scans. The procedure was ultimately successful in all pigs, took 10 min on average and resulted in no physiological complications. In one minipig, however, a 10-cm-long catheter became dislodged from the femoral vein; use of a longer (25-cm-long) catheter was optimal for establishing reliable intravenous access.

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