JOURNAL OF RECONSTRUCTIVE MICROSURGERY, vol.27, no.7, pp.391-395, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
We describe a time-saving microsurgical exercise for continuing microsurgical training and research. The rat tail replantation model was simplified by excluding bone detachment. Rats were divided into two groups: devascularization only (n = 3) and revascularization after devascularization (n = 7). The tail was devascularized by ligation and division of artery and veins in the first group to reveal if a collateral circulation from bone existed. The divided vessels were reanastomosed in the second group. The circulation of the rat tails was followed for 1 week. The tails showed total necrosis in the devascularization group, whereas only two of seven tails showed partial necrosis in the revascularization group. Reexploration showed thrombosis narrowing the lumen at the anastomotic site of the partially necrosed tails, most likely due to an anastomotic insufficiency. The present study revealed that total amputation is not necessary for tail devascularization. The rat tail revascularization model provides a practical tool for advanced and continuing microsurgical training and research.