Ultrasound guided percutaneous common carotid artery access in piglets for intracoronary stem cell infusion

for the Wanek Program Preclinical Pipeline

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In pigs, the deep location of the common carotid artery and overlying sternomastoideus muscle in the neck has led to the recommendation for a surgical cutdown for common carotid access, as opposed to minimally invasive techniques for vascular access. We sought to determine if direct percutaneous common carotid artery access in piglets is attainable. Seventeen piglets were anesthetized and intubated. Under two-dimensional and color flow Doppler ultrasound guidance, a 21 gauge needle was utilized to access the right common carotid artery. Following arterial puncture, the Seldinger technique was applied to place a 4 or 5 French introducer. Upon completion of cardiac catheterization with intracoronary stem cell infusion the introducer was removed and manual pressure was applied to prevent hematoma development. Successful access with an introducer was achieved in all 17 piglets. The average weight was 8.5 ± 1.7 kg. One piglet developed a hematoma with hemorrhaging from the catheterization site and was euthanized. This piglet was given bivalirudin for the procedure. After this incident, subsequent piglets were not given anticoagulation and no other complications occurred. Ultrasound guided percutaneous common carotid artery access in piglets is attainable in a safe, reliable, and reproducible manner when performed by microvascular experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018



  • cardiac catheterization
  • carotid arteries
  • interventional
  • swine
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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