Morbidity and mortality associated with creation of elastase-induced saccular aneurysms in a rabbit model

D. A. Lewis, Y. H. Ding, D. Dai, R. Kadirvel, M. A. Danielson, H. J. Cloft, D. F. Kallmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Elastase-induced aneurysms in rabbits have been proposed as a useful preclinical tool for device development. The object of this study was to report rates of morbidity and mortality associated with the creation and embolization of elastase-induced rabbit aneurysms and to assess the impact of operator experience on these rates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Elastase-induced model aneurysms were created in New Zealand white rabbits (n = 700). One neuroradiologist/investigator, naive to the aneurysm-creation procedure at the outset of the experiments, performed all surgeries. All morbidity and deaths related to aneurysm creation (n = 700) and embolization procedures (n = 529) were categorized into acute and chronic deaths. Data were analyzed with single-regression analysis and analysis of variance. To assess the impact of increasing operator experience, we broke the number of animals into 50-animal increments. RESULTS: There were 121 (17%) deaths among 700 subjects. Among 700 aneurysm-creation procedures, 59 deaths (8.4%) were noted. Among 529 aneurysm-embolization procedures, 43 deaths (8.1%) were noted. Nineteen additional deaths (2.7% of 700 subjects) were unrelated to the procedures. Simple regression-indicated mortality associated with procedures diminished with increasing operator experience (R2 = 0.38, P = .0180), and that for each 50-rabbit increment mortality was reduced, on average, by 0.6%. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality rates of approximately 8% are associated with both experimental aneurysm creation and with embolization in the rabbit elastase-induced aneurysm model. Increasing operator experience is inversely correlated with mortality, and the age of the rabbit is positively associated with morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-94
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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