Portal venous access for blood sampling, infusion therapy, and measurement of portal venous pressure is of special interest for experimental studies in surgery, pharmacology, and hepatology. Chronic animal models with continuous portal venous access are rare and especially thrombosis or clotting of permanent catheters is a frequent complication. Aim of this study was to establish a preclinical pig model with a permanent portal venous catheter (PVC).
PVC implantation was performed in 21 LEWE mini pigs. The catheter was inserted in the distal part of the superior mesenteric vein and fixated with a tobacco-pouch suture. Animals were followed up for 4 wk, directly after implantation of the PVC. Blood gas analyses and portal venous pressures were recorded. Three different groups with continuous infusion via the catheters were defined: NaCl solution (2 mL/h) (group 1), NaCl solution (2 mL/h) + enoxaparin sodium injection (anti-Xa levels of 0.3-0.8 U/mL) (group 2) and heparinized NaCl (2 I.E./mL, 2 mL/h) (group 3).
All 21 PVC implantations were performed without any complications. Application of continuous perfusion with heparinized NaCl (group 3) enabled portal venous access for the entire experiment in 8 of 10 cases (mean of 23.7 d) without any signs of dysfunction. However, for use of NaCl alone or in combination with enoxaparin sodium, catheters were only functional for 6.8 d and 6.9 d, respectively.
Permanent portal venous access through PVC in mini pigs is achievable by continuous infusion of low-dose heparinized NaCl solution.

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