Swine model for translational research of invasive intracranial monitoring

Jamie J. Van Gompel, Mark R. Bower, Gregory A. Worrell, Matt Stead, Thomas R. Meier, Stephan J. Goerss, Su Youne Chang, Inyoung Kim, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, Michael P. Marsh, Kendall H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Focal cortical epilepsy is currently studied most effectively in humans. However, improvement in cortical monitoring and investigational device development is limited by lack of an animal model that mimics human acute focal cortical epileptiform activity under epilepsy surgery conditions. Therefore, we assessed the swine model for translational epilepsy research. Swine were used due to their cost-effectiveness, convoluted cortex, and comparative anatomy. The anatomy has all the same brain structures as the human, and in similar locations. Focal subcortical injection of benzyl-penicillin produced clinical seizures correlating with epileptiform activity demonstrating temporal and spatial progression. Swine were evaluated under five different anesthesia regimens. Of the five regimens, conditions similar to human intraoperative anesthesia, including continuous fentanyl with low dose isoflorane, was the most effective for eliciting complex, epileptiform activity after benzyl-penicillin injection. The most complex epileptiform activity (spikes, and high frequency activity) was then repeated reliably in nine animals, utilizing 14 swine total. There were 20.1 ± 10.8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.8-28.4] epileptiform events with >3.5 Hz activity occurring per animal. Average duration of each event was 46.3 ± 15.6 (95% CI 44.0-48.6) s, ranging from 20-100 s. In conclusion, the acute swine model of focal cortical epilepsy surgery provides an animal model that mimics human surgical conditions with a large brain and gyrated cortex, and is relatively inexpensive among animal models. Therefore, we feel this model provides a valuable, reliable, and novel platform for translational studies of implantable hardware for intracranial monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e49-e53
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Animal Model
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Pig
  • Swine
  • Translational Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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