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Open Access Noninvasive Assessment of Pulse-Wave Velocity and Flow-Mediated Vasodilation in Anesthetized Göttingen Minipigs

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Few methods for noninvasive assessment of arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction in porcine models are available. The aim of this study was to evaluate methods for assessment of arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction in anesthetized Göttingen minipigs. Pulse-wave velocity (PWV) was assessed in male Göttingen minipigs (n = 8; age approximately 60 wk) by using applanation tonometry of the carotid and femoral arteries. In addition, flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) was assessed by using vascular ultrasonography of the brachial artery to evaluate endothelial dysfunction. To evaluate the reproducibility of the methods, minipigs were anesthetized by intravenous infusion of ketamine and midazolam and examined every other day for a total of 3 trials. Neither examination day nor systolic, diastolic, or mean arterial blood pressure statistically influenced PWV or FMD. The median interexamination coefficient of variation was 17% for PWV and 59% for FMD. Measured values of PWV corresponded largely to those in clinically healthy humans, but FMD values were lower than expected for lean, young animals. Although the ketamine–midazolam anesthesia we used has been associated with minor hemodynamic effects in vivo, in vitro studies suggest that both drugs are vasodilatory. Therefore anesthesia might have influenced the endothelial response, contributing to the modest FMD response and the concurrent high coefficients of variation that we noted. We conclude that PWV—but not FMD—showed acceptable interexamination variation for its potential application in porcine models.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark; Novo Nordisk A/S, Måløv, Denmark 2: Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark 3: Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark 4: Novo Nordisk A/S, Måløv, Denmark 5: Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark. [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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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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