A simplified arteriovenous malformation model in sheep: Feasibility study

Zhong Qian, Salvador Climent, Manuel Maynar, Jesus Usón-Garallo, Marco A. Lima-Rodrigues, Camen Calles, Hugh Robertson, Wilfrido R. Castañeda-Zuñiga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recently, a swine model of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) has been developed that closely resembles a human AVM of the brain. The creation of such a model requires sophisticated neurointerventional techniques. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple and cost-effective AVM animal model that does not require additional endovascular techniques. METHODS: A surgical anastomosis was created in seven sheep between the common carotid artery and the ipsilateral jugular vein, followed by ligation of the jugular vein above the anastomosis and of the proximal common carotid artery below the anastomosis. The anastomosis was created on the left side in four animals and on the right side in three. Cerebral angiography from the contralateral carotid artery was performed before and immediately after surgery to delineate the relevant cerebral vascular anatomy and to determine the direction of blood flow. RESULTS: An angiographic appearance simulating an AVM was found in all the animals. The ramus anastomoticus and arteria anastomotica functioned as the feeding vessels to the rete mirabile, which represented the nidus in our model, and to the jugular vein, which represented the draining vein from the malformation. Extensive collateral flow through the rete mirabile into the distal segment of the external carotid artery above the ligature was observed angiographically, with retrograde flow through the surgical anastomosis into the jugular vein. CONCLUSION: A simple surgically created experimental model for cerebral AVMs was developed in sheep without the need for additional complex endovascular catheter manipulations of intracranial branches. Such an animal model can substantially reduce the cost of research and training in the neurointerventional or radiosurgical management of AVMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-770
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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