Though numerous animal thrombosis models have been introduced, an easy, reliable, and reproducible arterial thrombosis model remains a continuing challenge prior to a thrombolytic study. In an effort to evaluate the efficiency of various recombinant thrombolytic agents with specific affinity to activated platelets in vivo, we developed a novel double-opposing inverted-sutures model to create a platelet-rich thrombus in the femoral artery of rabbits. The arteriotomy was done semicircumferentially, and variously sized microsurgical sutures were introduced intraluminally in a double-opposing inverted manner. The animals were divided into three groups according to the double-opposing inverted-sutures used: Group 1 with 10-0 nylon (n = 6), Group 2 with 9-0 nylon (n = 6), and Group 3 with 8-0 nylon (n = 22). The superficial epigastric branch was cannulated with a thin polyethylene (PE) tube for intraarterial administration of the studied thrombolytic agent. The blood flow was continuously measured with a real-time ultrasonic flow meter. Within 2 h of installation of the sutures, there was no thrombus formation in either Group 1 or 2. In Group 3, the thrombosis rate was 91% (20 of 22) under a steady baseline flow (with an average of 12.23 ± 2.40 ml/min). It was highly statistically significant with a P-value of .0000743 using Fisher's Exact Test. The averaged time to thrombosis was 21.8 ± 9.8 min. The ultrasonic flow meter to record the dynamic real-time measurement of blood flow was a guideline for thrombus formation or dissolution, which was correlated with the morphological findings of stenotic status of the vessel detected by the Doppler sonography. The components of the thrombus were proven to be platelet-rich predominant by histological examination via hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). To confirm that the double-opposing inverted-sutures model would be useful for a study of thrombolytic agents, we evaluated the effects of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and streptokinase-human plasminogen (SK-HPlg). The average time to thrombolysis post rt-PA infusion was 16.0 ± 8.2 min and that of SK-HPlg was 79.6 ± 23.1, which were similar to the previous reports. In conclusion, the novel double-opposing inverted-sutures (8-0 nylon) model provides a simple, reliable, and reproducible platelet-rich arterial thrombosis model with noninvasive and dynamic real-time measurement. It may be applied in assessing the efficiency of the recombinant thrombolytic agents and offers many advantages of an arterial platelet-rich in vivo thrombosis model.
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