The impact of different blood sampling methods on laboratory rats under different types of anaesthesia

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Martin Fitzner Toft, Mikke Haxø Petersen, Nils Dragsted, Axel Kornerup Hansen

Rats with implanted telemetry transponders were blood sampled by jugular puncture, periorbital puncture or tail vein puncture, or sampled by jugular puncture in carbon dioxide (CO?), isoflurane or without anaesthesia in a crossover design. Heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature were registered for three days after sampling. Initially blood pressure increased, but shortly after sampling it decreased, which led to increased heart rate. Sampling induced rapid fluctuations in body temperature, and an increase in body temperature. Generally, rats recovered from sampling within 2-3 h, except for rats sampled from the tail vein, which showed fluctuations in body temperature in excess of 30 h after sampling. Increases in heart rate and blood pressure within the first hours after sampling indicated that periorbital puncture was the method that had the largest acute impact on the rats and that it might take an extra hour to recover from it. CO2 anaesthesia seemed unable to prevent the increase in blood pressure and the fluctuations in body temperature induced by blood sampling, and up to 10 h after sampling, the rats were still affected by CO2 anaesthesia. Rats anaesthetized with isoflurane showed lower increases in blood pressure after, and fewer fluctuations in body temperature during sampling, and the post-anaesthetic effects of isoflurane, if any, seemed to disappear immediately after sampling. It is, therefore, concluded that blood sampling in rats by jugular puncture seems to be the method from which rats most rapidly recover when compared with periorbital puncture and tail vein puncture, and that for anaesthesia, isoflurane is recommended in preference to CO2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLaboratory Animals. Journal of the Laboratory Animal Science Association
Volume40
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
ISSN0023-6772
Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Research areas

  • LIFE - Anaesthesia, Blood sampling, Jugular puncture, Rattus norvegicus, Isoflurane

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