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Laboratory animals

Single port laparoscopic long-term tube gastrostomy in Göttingen minipigs.


PMID 25480656

Abstract

Oral dosing by gavage is often used to test compounds in minipigs. This method is also used for certain nutritional studies that require exact dosing. This procedure may be stressful for the animal and requires the assistance of more than one technician. We investigated whether a gastrostomy tube could be placed and maintained in Göttingen minipigs using a single port laparoscopic technique. As part of another study, laparoscopic gastrostomy tube placement was performed in 12 Göttingen minipigs (32 ± 2 kg) under general anesthesia. The procedure involved single port laparoscopic visualization of the stomach and placement of a locking pigtail catheter into the fundus region of the stomach. The minipigs were followed for three weeks after surgery and macroscopic and microscopic tissue reactions were evaluated at necropsy. All catheters were successfully placed and were easy to use. At necropsy it was evident that the catheter had entered the stomach in the fundus region in 11/12 of the animals. In one animal the catheter had entered the antrum region. None of the animals developed leakage or clinically detectable reactions to the gastrostomy tube. Histopathologically, only discrete changes were observed. Single port laparoscopic tube gastrostomy with a locking pigtail catheter is safe, simple and reliable and is an appropriate alternative to, for example, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, when long-term enteral delivery of pharmacological or nutritional compounds is needed. The use of the gastrostomy tube was easy and, based on subjective assessment, feeding was minimally stressful to the animals.

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