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Serial laparoscopic biopsies of liver and spleen from Schistosoma-infected baboons (Papio spp.).

Rawlings, C.A., Van Lue, S., King, C., Freeman, L., Damian, R.T., Greenacre, C., Chernosky, A., Mohamed, F.M. and Chou, T.M.

Comparative Medicine, 50(5), 551-555 (2000).

Purpose: To obtain large, serial biopsy samples from the liver and spleen by using laparoscopy. Large samples were needed for measurement of inflammatory mediators during various stages of schistosomiasis. Methods: Each of the seven female baboons (Papio sp.) underwent as many as three laparoscopies, for a total of 19 laparoscopic procedures, This process permitted sampling of the liver, spleen, and mesenteric lymph nodes before and at 6 and 9 weeks after infection with Schistosoma mansoni. All surgery was performed through three trocar sites. Postoperative care included preemptive analgesia. After surgery, we monitored the animals' appetite and measured the core body temperature and activity by using implanted radiofrequency transmitters. Results: We obtained samples of the liver and splenic biopsies during all 19 laparoscopic procedures. The mean weight of the liver biopsies was 3.7 g and that of the spleen samples was 5.3 g, We encountered small adhesions during 5 of the 12 reoperations. Eating and activity rapidly returned after surgery. Conclusions: Laparoscopy permitted collection of large, serial biopsies with apparently limited stress to the animals. Laparoscopy can be used for biopsies in studies to characterize disease response, confirm normal organ histology prior to drug toxicity studies, determine target-organ drug concentrations in pharmacokinetic studies, and measure drug residues. This refinement likely will reduce required animal numbers by decreasing the effect of surgery compared to that of the experimental conditions, enhance animal well-being, and permit repeated measurements in an animal that serves as its own control.