Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica

Chronic catheterization of the epidural space in rabbits: a model for behavioural and histopathological studies. Examination of meptazinol neurotoxicity.

PMID 8517109


A technique of epidural catheterization in rabbits is described. Twelve albino rabbits received a totally implanted epidural catheter system. The system was implanted surgically, and the functioning of the system tested for a period of 3 months. X-ray examinations following epidural contrast injections showed a distribution up to Th4 following 1.5 ml and Th8-9 following 1.0 and 1.25 ml. Epidural injection of lidocaine throughout the study period proved the system to be functioning for all 3 months. Another 12 rabbits were included for the neurotoxicological examinations following epidural catheterization, without any injections (three rabbits), epidural injections of saline (four rabbits) and meptazinol (five rabbits) once a day for 14 days. Histopathological examinations showed a fibrous cocoon, at the tip of the catheter, in all rabbits. In the group of rabbits which did not receive any injections, the cocoon was slightly infiltrated with leukocytes and local depression of the spinal cord was observed in one rabbit. In the saline-injected group this infiltration was more pronounced and in one rabbit it extended into the meninges. Three rabbits showed local depression of the spinal cord and local myelopathy of the white matter in the area adjacent to the cocoon. In the group of rabbits receiving meptazinol, three out of five had local depression and myelopathy of the white matter. In this group these findings were more pronounced. In two rabbits the myelopathy extended transversely through the white matter into the grey matter of the spinal cord. The number of pathological changes in the group receiving meptazinol was significantly higher compared to the control and placebo groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Meptazinol hydrochloride
C15H23NO· HCl