A comparative study of vascular injection fluids in fresh-frozen and embalmed human cadaver forearms

D. E. Doomernik, R. R. Kruse, M. M.P.J. Reijnen, T. L. Kozicz, J. G.M. Kooloos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Over the years, various vascular injection products have been developed to facilitate anatomical dissections. This study aimed to compare the most commonly used vascular injection products in fresh-frozen and formalin-embalmed cadaver specimens. An overview of the properties, advantages and limitations of each substance was given, and a comparison of vascular infusion procedures in both preservation methods was made. A literature search was performed in order to identify the most commonly used vascular injection products. Acrylic paint, latex, gelatin, silicone, Araldite F and Batson's No. 17 were selected for the study. One fresh-frozen and one embalmed cadaver forearm were infused with each injection product according to a uniform protocol. The curing time, skin- and subcutaneous tissue penetration, degree of filling of the arterial tree, extravasations, consistency of the injected vessels during dissection, and the costs of each injection fluid were noted. There was a large variation between the injection fluids in processing- and curing time, colour intensity, flexibility, fragility, elasticity, strength, toxicity and costs. All fluids were suitable for infusion. The penetration of injection fluid into the skin and subcutaneous tissue was significantly better in fresh-frozen specimens (P = 0.002 and P = 0.009, respectively), with significantly smaller branches casted (P = 0.004). Vascular infusion of fresh-frozen cadaver specimens results in a significantly better filled coloured arterial tree, enabling more detail to be achieved and smaller branches casted. The biomechanical properties of fresh-frozen soft tissues are less affected compared with formalin fixation. All the injection fluids studied are suitable for vascular infusion, but their different properties ensure that certain products and procedures are more suitable for specific study purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-590
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • acrylic resin
  • blood vessels
  • cadaver
  • epoxy resin
  • gelatine
  • latex
  • silicone
  • vascular anatomy
  • vascular infusion
  • vascular injection fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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