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Lab Anim. 2003 Apr;37(2):145-54.

A long-term porcine model for measurement of gastrointestinal motility.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital, RWTH Aachen, Germany.


Animal models have become an essential tool in the investigations of gut motility under experimental conditions. To determine the influence of various anaesthetic drugs on the motility pattern of the gastroduodenal tract, a new long-term model has had to be developed for allowing measurements in conscious and unrestrained as well as in sedated and analgosedated pigs. Since mechanical ventilation influences gut motility, it was necessary that this animal model enabled the investigation of the effect of drugs causing sedation and analgosedation during spontaneous breathing. Seven male, castrated pigs, German landrace, 32-40 kg bodyweight (BW) were investigated in this study. After habituation of the pigs to local housing conditions over 5 days, the animals were trained over 4 days to prepare for experimental situations and investigators. Pigs were inserted with a central venous catheter and with percutaneous enterogastrostomy (PEG) under general anaesthesia. Intestinal motility was measured by intraluminal impedancometry. The catheter was introduced over the PEG into the stomach and positioned into the duodenum by duodenoscopy. Measurements were done in conscious, unrestrained pigs and with sedated, and analgosedated animals on subsequent days. The habituation and training of the pigs to the investigators and for the laboratory conditions took between 7 and 9 days. The initial anaesthesia protocol for the instrumentation using remifentanil/propofol led to pyloric spasm and was thus unsuitable for duodenal intubation with an endoscope. In contrast, a combination of ketamine/propofol enabled this procedure. It was practicable to measure gut motility in conscious, unrestrained pigs. Spontaneous breathing was sufficient under propofol sedation and analgosedation using fentanyl-propofol. Systematically local application of polividon iodine in the area of the subcutaneous catheters avoided the necessity of using systemic prophylactic antibiotics. In conclusion, the habituation and training for 9 days enabled the measurement of gut motility by intraluminal impedancometry in conscious pigs. The insertion of the catheter was done during general anaesthesia using a combination of propofol and ketamine. For the future determination of gut motility performed under general anaesthesia, each sedation and analgosedation concept has to be evaluated to see whether it allows spontaneous breathing or whether mechanical ventilation is necessary.

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