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Shock. 2005 Dec;24 Suppl 1:33-9.

Shock and hemorrhage: an overview of animal models.

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  • 1Division of Surgical Research/Department of Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


Shock resulting from life-threatening blood loss (hemorrhage) remains a common complication of traumatic injury. Intensive experimental efforts are needed if we are to understand the pathological effect(s) of hemorrhagic shock, alone or in association with traumatic tissue injury, and to reverse this deleterious process in trauma patients. Here, we overview selected studies that are representative of the different hemorrhagic shock models, considering their advantages and disadvantages from a scientific and clinical perspective. Fixed-pressure versus fixed-volume versus uncontrolled hemorrhage models, with or without tissue injury, will be discussed, as well as small versus large animal models. Most of these models are nonlethal in nature, and allow the researcher to understand the changes that contribute to increased susceptibility to subsequent infection or the development of multiple organ failure. We also consider some of the confounders in these models, including anesthesia, the nature of resuscitation, and the use of anticoagulants. The selection of model must take into consideration not only the need for experimental control but must also adequately reflect the clinical pathobiology of shock if we are to develop better pharmacological interventions.

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