Background: Experimental studies on laparoscopic surgery are often performed in rats. However, the hemodynamic and respiratory responses related to the pneumoperitoneum have not been studied extensively in rats. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate in spontaneously breathing rats the effects of CO2 and helium, insufflation pressure, and duration of pneumoperitoneum on blood pressure, arterial pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3 -, base excess, and respiratory rate. Methods: Five groups of 9 Brown Norway rats were anesthetized and underwent CO2 insufflation (6 or 12 mmHg), helium insufflation (6 or 12 mmHg), or abdominal wall lifting (gasless control) for 120 min. Blood pressure was monitored by an indwelling carotid artery catheter. Baseline measurements of mean arterial pressure (MAP), respiratory rate, arterial blood pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3 -, and base excess were recorded. Blood gases were analyzed at 5, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min during pneumoperitoneum, and MAP and respiratory rate were recorded at 5 and 15 min and at 15-min intervals thereafter for 2 h. Results: CO2 insufflation (at both 6 and 12 mmHg) caused a significant decrease in blood pH and increase in arterial pCO2. Respiratory compensation was evident since pCO2 returned to preinsufflation levels during CO2 insufflation at 12 mmHg. There was no significant change in blood pH and pCO2 in rats undergoing either helium insufflation or gasless procedures. Neither insufflation pressure nor the type of insufflation gas had a significant effect on MAP over time. Conclusion: The cardiorespiratory changes during prolonged pneumoperitoneum in spontaneously breathing rats are similar to those seen in clinical practice. Therefore, studies conducted in this animal model can provide valuable physiological data relevant to the study of laparoscopic surgery.

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Surgical Endoscopy: surgical and interventional techniques
Department of Surgery

Hazebroek, E. J., Haitsma, J., Lachmann, B., Steyerberg, E., de Bruin, R., Kannekens-Bouvy, N., & Bonjer, J. (2002). Impact of carbon dioxide and helium insufflation on cardiorespiratory function during prolonged pneumoperitoneum in an experimental rat model. Surgical Endoscopy: surgical and interventional techniques, 16(7), 1073–1078. doi:10.1007/s00464-001-8248-x