The interpretation of intra-abdominal pressures from animal models: The rabbit to human example

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The importance of the abdominal wall characteristics in intraabdominal pressure (IAP), intraabdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are poorly understood. The applicability of laboratory research findings to human scenarios is unknown due to the potential differences in abdominal wall elastance (AWE) amongst species. The aims of the study are to describe the AWE curve in rabbits and to compare it to the available human data. Materials and methods: Prospective experimental animal study in the setting of research laboratory. Male New Zealand White rabbits weighting 2.7 kg ± 0.1 kg, were anesthetized and the AWE was determined by infusion of lactated Ringer's solution into the peritoneal cavity whilst the IAP was measured. A meta-analysis of peer-reviewed studies was conducted to define human AWE. Results: The described AWE was lower in the rabbit than in humans. The function comparing human and rabbit was: loge human IAP = (0.58 log e rabbit IAP + 1.6). Conclusions: The AWE can vary amongst species. This study determined the relationship to allow the comparison of rabbit and human IAP. The proposed mathematical function is important for the advancement of interpretation and understanding of animal research into IAH and ACS. We recommend developing model-specific functions comparing individual animal models' IAP and that of humans. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Yoshino, O., Quail, A., Oldmeadow, C., & Balogh, Z. J. (2012). The interpretation of intra-abdominal pressures from animal models: The rabbit to human example. Injury, 43(2), 169–173.

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