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February 1963

The Response of Normal Rats to Portacaval Shunt: A Comparative Study of End-To-Side and Side-To-Side Shunts

Author Affiliations

From The University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Surgery.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):342-348. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080166036

The rat is useful in the continuing study of the pathogenesis of hepatic cirrhosis. Nutritional or toxic cirrhosis which closely mirrors human cirrhosis can be experimentally induced in this rodent. Hartroft and many other investigators have described in detail the pathologic alterations found in experimental liver disease in the rat.4-6 With the development of new vascular techniques we embarked upon a project to perfect a suture method of portacaval anastomosis in this laboratory animal. Concurrently a similar technique has been developed by Lee and Fisher.8 This paper summarizes our experience in developing these operations. In addition, we wish to present physiologic and pathologic data concerning the effect of portacaval shunts in the normal rat.

Technique  Sprague-Dawley rats of at least 300 gm. were used. With experience, shunts may also be performed in smaller animals without undue difficulty. Ether anesthesia proved to be the most satisfactory. Our initial efforts

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