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Open Access An Effective and Reproducible Model of Ventricular Fibrillation in Crossbred Yorkshire Swine (Sus scrofa) for Use in Physiologic Research

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Transcutaneous electrical induction (TCEI) has been used to induce ventricular fibrillation (VF) in laboratory swine for physiologic and resuscitation research. Many studies do not describe the method of TCEI in detail, thus making replication by future investigators difficult. Here we describe a detailed method of electrically inducing VF that was used successfully in a prospective, experimental resuscitation study. Specifically, an electrical current was passed through the heart to induce VF in crossbred Yorkshire swine (n = 30); the current was generated by using two 22-gauge spinal needles, with one placed above and one below the heart, and three 9V batteries connected in series. VF developed in 28 of the 30 pigs (93%) within 10 s of beginning the procedure. In the remaining 2 swine, VF was induced successfully after medial redirection of the superior parasternal needle. The TCEI method is simple, reproducible, and cost-effective. TCEI may be especially valuable to researchers with limited access to funding, sophisticated equipment, or colleagues experienced in interventional cardiology techniques. The TCEI method might be most appropriate for pharmacologic studies requiring VF, VF resulting from the R-on-T phenomenon (as in prolonged QT syndrome), and VF arising from other ectopic or reentrant causes. However, the TCEI method does not accurately model the most common cause of VF, acute coronary occlusive disease. Researchers must consider the limitations of TCEI that may affect internal and external validity of collected data, when designing experiments using this model of VF.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Geneva Foundation, Tacoma, Washington, USA; Academy of Health Sciences, US Army Medical Department and School, Fort Sam Houston, Houston, Texas, USA. [email protected] 2: The Geneva Foundation, Tacoma, Washington, USA; Academy of Health Sciences, US Army Medical Department and School, Fort Sam Houston, Houston, Texas, USA 3: The Geneva Foundation, Tacoma, Washington, USA 4: Academy of Health Sciences, US Army Medical Department and School, Fort Sam Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2015

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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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