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Neuroradiology. 2003 Jul;45(7):423-9. Epub 2003 May 28.

A refined method for creating saccular aneurysms in the rabbit.

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Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of the University of Technology Aachen, Pauwelsstrase 30, 52057, Aachen, Germany.


We describe a refined animal model of human intracerebral aneurysms for testing endovascular devices for interventional neuroradiological procedures. Saccular aneurysms resulting from a stump of the right common carotid artery (CCA) were created in 15 New Zealand White rabbits by intraluminal incubation of elastase that was applied to the CCA after distal ligation of the CCA and proximal occlusion of the vessel using a pliable balloon. Subsequently a microcatheter was advanced to a position cranial to the balloon and the elastase was infused under fluoroscopic guidance to avoid retrograde flow to the trachea via aberrant vessels. Contrast-enhanced (CE) MRA at 1.5 T and conventional digital subtraction angiography was performed to test for aneurysm size, morphology and neck anatomy. In all 15 animals aneurysms resulted from the stump of the right CCA, ranging in size from 2.0 to 9.9 mm (mean 6.3 mm) in craniocaudal direction, 1.0 to 5.5 mm (mean 3.8 mm) in mediolateral direction and 1.0 to 3.8 mm (mean 2.4 mm) in neck diameter. Aneurysm morphology could be adequately demonstrated using CE MRA. On histological evaluation a loss of the internal elastic lamina was noted. The described method represents an easy, reliable, and reproducible method of aneurysm creation in the rabbit in an area of high shear stress. These aneurysms can be used for testing new endovascular devices for embolization of intracranial aneurysms.

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