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Open Access Rib Biopsy Technique for Cortical Bone Evaluation in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

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Old World primates are often studied to model human skeletal physiology. An important advantage of monkeys over other animal models (i.e., rodents) is the presence of cortical bone Haversian remodeling. Seventy-five female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were subjected to bone biopsy. With monkeys in lateral decubitus position, the tenth rib was surgically exposed and freed from periosteum by use of careful sharp and blunt dissection. The rib section was resected, using bone cutters, and the surgical wound was closed. This procedure was repeated for the contralateral rib at a later time point in 65 monkeys.

There was no mortality or appreciable morbidity. The bone specimens were (mean ± SD) 2.50 ± 0.25 cm long, with 5.5 1.0 mm 2 total cross-sectional area. They were adequate for histologic, immunohistochemical, and quantitative histomorphometric examinations. Prevalence of pneumothorax was approximately 8.0% for the 140 procedures. This complication was immediately and successfully corrected by insertion of a small thoracic tube, evacuation of pneumothorax, and closure of the incision.

This well-tolerated, repeatable procedure yields excellent specimens for performance of cortical bone histologic examination without euthanasia, allowing longitudinal evaluation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, University of WisconsinMadison, Madison, Wisconsin 2: Health Science Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 3: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine and the Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 4: Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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