Background: Abbott developed the first experimental accessory heart transplant rat model in 1964. This intra-abdominal model required a labor-intensive aortic anastomosis. In 1971, Heron modified the operation by using sutureless cervical vessel anastomoses. Rao and Lisitza developed a femoral heart accessory transplant model in 1985. Our goal was to improve this femoral model for the study of cardiac transplantation between both syngeneic and allogeneic rats. Methods: ACI and Lewis rats weighing 150 to 350g were used as donors and recipients (n = 12). The left common carotid and left pulmonary arteries were anastomosed to the femoral artery and vein in an end-to-end fashion, respectively. Improved modifications included the use of hemostatic vessel clips, heparinization of both donor and recipient, a ventricular prolene stay-suture for secure graft placement, and transfemoral echocardiography (TFE). Total operative time averaged 61 ± 12 minutes. Results: Femoral accessory transplanted hearts (FATHs) allowed easier pulse palpation and access for TFE versus previously described cervical and intra-abdominal models. This modification allows precise detection of acute graft rejection (AGR) and is defined as absent ventricular contraction in the presence of anastomostic patency. Conclusions: Our new modified technique for heterotopic femoral heart transplantation in rats is a relatively easily learned and reproduced procedure that allows superior allograft access for palpation and improved echocardiographic assessment. Femoral heterotopic heart transplantation remains an effective model for allograft transplantation study.
- cardiac allotransplantation
- femoral heart transplant model
- heterotopic heart transplantation
- rat transplant technique
- vascularized bone marrow transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas