Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Ligation in Sheep. Could These Animals be Used as Human Models for Vascular and Cerebral Research?

Open access

Abstract

Experimental animals are still used in today’s medicine to understand better physiological or pathological processes, or to develop, for example better vascular prostheses. For that reason, these animals must show some similarities with humans, from the anatomical to the physiological point of view. When developing vascular prostheses, we have to evaluate if the graft will react in the expected way and if during experimental research there will be some factors that might influence the proper functioning of vascular prostheses in the human body. We observed the consequences of bilateral common carotid artery ligation (BCCAL) or Sham operation in seventeen healthy Merinolandschaf / Württemberg sheep, aged between 2 and 4 years, after testing new types of carbon-coated ARTECOR® and ADIPOGRAFT Ra 1vk 7/350 vascular prostheses. After the follow-up period the prostheses were extirpated, so the blood supply was provided from the vertebral arteries. Sheep in both groups were not sacrificed, but were observed for 18 months. After the observation period all sheep showed no physical or neurological changes and all are still alive. Animal responses to BCCAL are different, depending on the animal species, age, and condition. In sheep, bilateral blocking of the blood fl ow in the carotid bed seems to be conceivable since the brain was sufficiently supplied with blood from the vertebral arteries.

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