Development of a Model for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Swine

Nicholas De Leo, Atlee Melillo, Ping Zhang, Jeremy Badach, Henry Miller, Andrew Lin, John Williamson, Gaby Ghobrial, J. Gaughan, Vaishali Krishnadoss, Iman Noshadi, Spencer A. Brown, Jeffrey P. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Producing a reliable large-animal model of AAA has proven challenging. We sought to create a reproducible swine model of AAA using enzymatic degradation of the aortic wall. Methods: Twelve male Yorkshire swine received periadventitial injections of type 1 collagenase and porcine pancreatic elastase into a 4 cm segment of infrarenal aorta. Nine survived until postoperative day (POD) 21. Aortic growth was monitored at 7 and 14 days using ultrasound. The animals were euthanized on POD 21, and the suprarenal (control) and infrarenal aorta were harvested for analysis, after gross measurement of aortic diameter (AD). Tensile strength was measured and additional segments were collected for histopathological analysis. PCR of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP9) was conducted. Groups were compared with paired t-tests, or ANOVA, where appropriate. Results: Average percent growth of AD at POD 21 for treated segments was 27% versus 4.5% for control tissue. The average difference in AD by subject, was 26.7% (P<0.001). Aortic medial thickness was decreased in treated tissue; 235 μm versus 645 μm (P<0.0001). Quantities of both medial elastin fibers, and smooth muscles cells were decreased in treated tissue; 1.8% compared to 9.9% (P<0.0001), and 24% versus 37.4%, respectively. Tensile strength was also decreased in treated tissue; 16.7 MPa versus 29.5 MPa (P=0.0002). A 12-fold increase in expression of MMP9 mRNA was also demonstrated in aneurysmal tissue (P=0.002)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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