Background: Anastomotic leakage is the major complication after colorectal surgery. To date, animal experiments concerning colorectal anastomosis focus on anastomotic healing instead of anastomotic leakage. This study aims to develop a new experimental model for colorectal anastomotic leakage. Methods: A control group, receiving an anastomosis with 12 interrupted sutures, was compared to a group receiving an anastomosis with 6 interrupted sutures. When the leakage rate was observed to be too low, the number of sutures was decreased stepwise, to 5 or less. Each group contained 9 "C57Bl6-mice". After 7 d the Anastomotic Bursting Pressure (ABP) was determined. Results: In the first experiment, one mouse (11.1%) in the case group and none in the control group developed leakage. Average ABP was 152,2 mmHg in the control group and 138,8 mmHg in the case group (P = 0,111). In the second experiment, case group receiving an anastomosis with 5 sutures, 4 mice (44.4%) in the case group developed leakage. This experiment was repeated twice resulting in leakage rates of 33.3% and 44.4%. The average overall ABP in the case group was 142,7 mmHg vs. 179,9 mmHg (P = 0,022) in the control group. The mice without leakage showed a stabilization of average weight loss around day 2 and 3 and a decrease afterwards. The mice with leakage showed a decrease only after day 5. The difference in wellness-scores between the groups with- and without leakage was 2 points, increasing during follow-up. Conclusions: The model of anastomotic leakage caused by creating an anastomosis with 5 interrupted sutures is feasible. Weight loss and wellness-scores are good predictors of leakage.

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Keywords C57bl6, anastomosis, anastomotic healing, colorectal anastomotic leakage, experimental animal model
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Journal Journal of Surgical Research
Komen, N.A.P, van der Wal, H.C, Ditzel, M, Kleinrensink, G.J, Jeekel, J, & Lange, J.F. (2009). Colorectal Anastomotic Leakage: A New Experimental Model. Journal of Surgical Research, 155(1), 7–12. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2008.08.019