Aim: To provide new sustainable in vivo models of ventricular fibrillation in rabbits. Methods: New Zealand rabbits were submitted to anaesthesia and mechanical ventilation, after which ventricular fibrillation was induced through electrical stimulation (for 2 min at 100 Hz, with 2-ms pulses, 10 mA, and 10 V) directly to the heart. To that end, the animals were divided into two groups: right ventricle (n = 11) and left ventricle (n = 11). In group right ventricle, the thoracic cavity was exposed, and a catheter was introduced into the right ventricle via the right jugular vein. In group left ventricle, the thorax remained closed, and the catheter was introduced into the left ventricle via the left common carotid artery (cervical access). Results: Sustained ventricular fibrillation was achieved in 100% of group right ventricle rabbits (n = 11) and in 82% of group left ventricle rabbits (n = 9). Conclusion: Both models proved appropriate for achieving sustained ventricular fibrillation. However, in view of the invasiveness of the procedure adopted in group right ventricle, the experimental conditions used in group left ventricle seemed more physiological and more effective in inducing sustained ventricular fibrillation. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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