The aim of this study was to develop a minimal invasive complete spinal cord injury (SCI) minipig model for future research applications. The minipig is considered a translationally relevant model for SCI research. However, a standardized minimal invasive complete SCI model for pigs has not yet been established.
Adult Göttingen minipigs were anesthetized and placed in extended prone position. After initial computed tomography (CT) scan, the skin was incised, a needle placed in the epidural fatty tissue. Using the Seldinger technique, a guidewire and dilators were introduced to insert the balloon catheter to Th12. After confirmation of the level Th11/Th12, the balloon was inflated to 2 atm for 30 min. The severity of the lesion was followed by CT and by MRI, and by immunohistochemistry. Function was assessed at the motor and sensory level.
Duration of procedure was about 60 min including the 30-min compression time. The balloon pressure of 2 atm was maintained without losses. The lesion site was clearly discernible and no intradural bleeding was observed by CT. Neurological assessments during the 4-month follow-up time showed consistent, predictable, and stable neurological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging analyses at 6 h and 4 weeks post SCI with final immunohistochemical analyses of spinal cord tissue underlined the neurological outcomes and proved SCI completeness.
We have established a new, minimal invasive, highly standardized, CT-guided spinal cord injury procedure for minipigs. All risks of the open surgery can be excluded using this technique. This CT-guided SC compression is an excellent technique as it avoids long surgery and extensive trauma and allows a feasible inter-animal comparison.
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Spinal cord injury