Baseline performance of the ischaemic button model for induction of adhesions in laboratory rats

Elwin H. H. Mommers*, Liu Hong, Audrey Jongen, Nicole D. Bouvy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The ischaemic button model is frequently used for the induction of adhesions in laboratory rats. Male rats are often used because of the common belief that the peritesticular (intra-abdominal) fat in males facilitates adhesion formation, although this theory is not evidence based. Comparing the model's performance in both sexes is an important aspect of refining animal experiments. The aim of this study is to compare baseline performance of the modified ischaemic button model in both male and female rats. Follow-up was 1 week and noted endpoints were intra-abdominal adhesion formation and differences in welfare assessment. A total of 192 ischaemic buttons (96 male/96 female) were created in 24 Wistar Han rats (12 male/12 female). After 1 week of follow-up, 93 buttons survived in the male group (96.9%) compared with 91 in the female group (94.8%) (p = 0.409). In the male group, 85 out of 93 (91.4%) buttons induced adhesions compared with 84 out of 91 (92.3%) in the female group (p = 0.881). All but one animal had a Zuhlke score of 3. There were no clinically relevant differences in welfare scores. Male animals increased in weight significantly faster compared to females (p <0.001), after correcting for physiological growth. The ischaemic button model resulted in equal quality and quantity of intra-abdominal adhesions in both male and female Wistar Han rats. Both male and female Wistar Han rats are suitable for the induction of experimental adhesions in the ischaemic button model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • ischaemic button model
  • male and female comparison
  • adhesions
  • laboratory rats
  • PAIN


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