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The porcine bronchial artery. Anastomoses with oesophageal, coronary and intercostal arteries

  • JOHN GADE (a1), MARTIN A. NØRGAARD (a1), CLAUS B. ANDERSEN (a2), HEIDI JAKOBSEN (a1), BETTINA BREITOWICZ (a1), ULRIK G. SVENDSEN (a3) and PETER S. OLSEN (a1)...

Abstract

Information abut the existence and anatomy of arterial anastomoses with the porcine bronchial artery is lacking in the literature. Prior to basic physiological investigations in a porcine model related to lung transplantation with bronchial artery revascularisation, this study was designed to examine the anatomy of systemic arterial anastomoses with the bronchial artery system. Twenty pigs were studied in 3 groups. In 2 groups the heart–lung block was removed with all mediastinal structures. One group served for investigation of coronary–bronchial artery anastomoses and one for investigation of oesophageal–bronchial artery anastomoses. The systemic arteries to be examined were cannulated. The inflated heart–lung block was examined macroscopically with Evans blue, and radiographically after contrast injection. In the 3rd group intercostobronchial artery anastomoses were studied radiographically with the heart–lung block in situ. Coronary–bronchial artery anastomoses were demonstrated in 3 of the 5 pigs with an aortic ‘pouch’ technique, but contrast was very limited in 2 of these 3. Oesophageal arterial anastomoses with bronchial arterial branches and/or the pulmonary veins were demonstrated in 6 of the 7 pigs and more markedly than the coronary–bronchial anastomoses. Intercostobronchial artery anastomoses could not be demonstrated angiographically. It was concluded that the existence of coronary–bronchial and oesophageal–bronchial artery anastomoses in the pig appear to establish an arterial net between the base of the heart and the distal oesophagus. The resemblance to human oesophageal–bronchial artery anastomoses supports use of a porcine model for experimental studies.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr John Gade, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery RT, 2152, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Tel.: +45 35 34 10 81 (direct line) or +45 35 45 23 08 (dept. secretary); fax: +45 35 45 21 58; e-mail: johngade@dadlnet.dk

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