Heart Transplantation in Rats
Cardiac transplantation in rats has been performed preferentially with models of empty beating hearts that were connected either to the neck vessels or to the abdominal aorta and vena cava. Whether this nonphysiological approach with altered coronary perfusion and proven functional impairments (Bernhard and Konertz 1983; Dittmer and Goss 1973) has any influence on the immunological behavior of the graft or the recipient is still unknown. On the other hand, orthotopic transplantation, which would be a very desirable procedure in rats, is troublesome to perform due to difficulties with extracorporeal circulation in such small animals (Konertz et al. 1979a). We introduced heterotopic thoracic transplantation as left ventricular bypass in rats (Konertz et al. 1979b,c,1980b). This superior procedure gives immunological and functional results under standardized and repeatable conditions. This paper will describe technical aspects of heart transplantation in rats.
KeywordsLeft Atrium Cardiac Graft Bilateral Thoracotomy Heterotopic Heart Transplantation Heart Preservation
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