Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
A novel rabbit thromboembolic occlusion model
  1. Yong-Hong Ding1,
  2. Seán Fitzgerald2,
  3. Yang Liu1,
  4. Daying Dai1,
  5. Daniel Jakaitis1,
  6. Karen Doyle3,
  7. Waleed Brinjikji1,
  8. David F Kallmes1,
  9. Luis Savastano4,
  10. Ramanathan Kadirvel1
  1. 1 Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2 CÚRAM–Centre for Research in Medical Devices, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  3. 3 Physiology, CURAM, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  4. 4 Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yong-Hong Ding, Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55901, USA; ding.yonghong{at}


Background To develop a preclinical thromboembolic occlusion model for studying revascularization strategies.

Methods Clot analog with barium sulfate was injected into the distal aorta in 9 New Zealand white rabbits. The situation of aorta occlusion was compared among fibrin-rich (n=4), red blood cell (RBC)-rich (n=3), and whole blood clot analogs (n=2) using digital subtraction angiography. Arterial geometries, histologic features and circumferential stretch of the distal aorta in rabbits were compared with the common carotid artery in swine and the distal internal carotid artery (ICA) in humans. Aspiration thrombectomy and mechanical thrombectomy using a stent retriever were performed in two rabbits.

Results The aortic bifurcation was occluded after a single delivery of clot in 4 cases. It was occluded after the second clot injection in the 5 remaining rabbits. Fragmentation of RBC-rich clots occurred during clot injection in 2 cases. The mean diameters of the distal aorta and right common iliac artery in rabbits were 3.7±0.4 and 2.8±0.3 mm, respectively; the mean diameters of human ICA, and first and second segments of the middle cerebral artery (M1, M2) were 3.6±0.4, 3.1±0.4, and 2.4±0.4 mm, respectively. Arterial revascularization was achieved in both rabbits. Geometric, mechanical and histological factors of the distal aorta in rabbit were more close to human distal ICA than swine carotid artery.

Conclusion Arterial occlusion can be achieved at the aortic bifurcation in rabbits, which is comparable to human ICA bifurcation. This thrombectomy model has the potential to be used for testing of thrombectomy devices.

  • stroke
  • thrombectomy

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

View Full Text


  • Twitter @FitzSeanT

  • Y-HD, SF and YL contributed equally.

  • Presented at This study was presented at the ASNR 57 th Annual Meeting, May 18-23, 2019, Boston, MA.

  • Contributors Y-HD and DFK designed the model. Y-HD, DJ and SF performed the experiments. SF and DD analyzed the histologic data. YL performed the mechanical testing. Y-HD and YL wrote the manuscript with input from other authors (WB, SF, DD, KD, RK, LS and DFK). All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by NS105853 (Waleed R01) and NS076491 (FD R01).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.