Elastase-induced saccular aneurysms in rabbits: Comparison of geometric features with those of human aneurysms

J. G. Short, N. H. Fujiwara, W. F. Marx, G. A. Helm, H. J. Cloft, D. F. Kallmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The development of more effective intracranial aneurysm therapy depends on the ability to test various intravascular occlusion devices and techniques in preclinical animal models. This requires the creation of experimental aneurysms, which, ideally, should mimic the size and geometric features of human intracranial aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to characterize the morphologic features of elastase-induced saccular aneurysms in rabbits to determine whether the morphology of such aneurysms mimics that of human intracranial aneurysms. METHODS: Elastase-induced saccular aneurysms were created in 40 New Zealand white rabbits. Intravenous digital subtraction angiography was performed 14 days after surgery. Relative to an external sizing device, the following dimensions were determined: aneurysm dome (height and width), aneurysm neck diameter, and parent artery diameter. Based on maximal diameter, aneurysms were categorized as small (2.0-4.9 mm), medium-sized (5.0-9.9 mm), or large (10-16 mm), and as narrow-necked (<4.0 mm neck width) or wide-necked (>4.0 mm neck width). Mean dome-neck ratio was calculated and compared with that of human aneurysms. RESULTS: All aneurysm cavities were angiographically patent. Widths of the cavities ranged from 2.5 to 7.1 mm (mean, 4.1 ± 1.2 mm); heights ranged from 3.0 to 15.6 mm (mean, 8.8 ± 2.6 mm). Three (7.5%) of 40 aneurysms were small, 20 (50%) were medium-sized, and 17 (42.5%) were large. Twenty-two (55%) of 40 aneurysms were small-necked, and 18 (45%) were wide-necked. Mean dome-neck ratio was 1.13 ± 0.54. Mean parent artery diameter was 4.3 ± 1.4 mm. CONCLUSION: Saccular aneurysms of sizes similar to that of human intracranial aneurysms were reliably created using a simple method of vessel ligation and elastase injury. Neck sizes varied with both large and small-necked aneurysms created.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1833-1837
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 8 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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