Published online Apr 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i16.4875
Peer-review started: October 28, 2014
First decision: December 11, 2014
Revised: January 4, 2015
Accepted: February 11, 2015
Article in press: February 11, 2015
Published online: April 28, 2015
AIM: To compare two different laparotomy methods for modeling rabbit VX2 hepatocarcinoma.
METHODS: Thirty New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into two groups: A and B. Group A was assigned a traditional laparotomy method (embedding tumor fragments directly into the liver with tweezers). Group B was subjected to an improved laparotomy method (injection of tumor fragments into the liver through a 15 G syringe needle). The operation time, incision length, incision infection rate, and mortality rate were compared between the two groups after laparotomy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed to evaluate tumor formation rates and the characteristics of the tumors 2 wk after laparotomy.
RESULTS: The mean operation times for the two groups (Group A vs Group B) were 23.2 ± 3.4 min vs 17.5 ± 2.9 min (P < 0.05); the incision length was 3.3 ± 0.5 cm vs 2.4 ± 0.6 cm (P < 0.05); and the mortality rate after 2 wk was 26.7% vs 0% (P < 0.05); all of these outcomes were significantly different between the two groups. The incision infection rates in the two groups were 6.7% vs 0% (P > 0.05), which were not significantly different. MRI performed after 2 weeks showed that the tumor formation rates in the two groups were 90.9% vs 93.3% (P > 0.05). These rates were not significantly different between the two groups. The celiac implantation rate and abdominal wall metastasis rate in the two groups were 36.4% vs 13.3% (P < 0.05) and 27.2% vs 6.7% (P < 0.05), respectively, which were significantly different between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: The tumor formation rates were not significantly different between the two methods for modeling rabbit VX2 hepatocarcinoma. However, the improved method is recommended because it has certain advantages.
Core tip: A crucial issue in studying liver cancer is the establishment of an animal model to simulate human liver cancer. There are various ways to establish rabbit VX2 hepatocarcinoma, and using an open laparotomy implant is a widely adopted classical method. We injected tumor fragments into the left lobe of the rabbit liver, deviating from the abdominal wall using a 15 G syringe needle instead of building a sinus using tweezers. This improved method is recommended because of advantages such as decreased injury to the liver, shorter operation time, lower death rates, reduced abdominal cavity implantation and fewer abdominal wall invasions.