PRINT ISSN 1222-5304, ISSN-L: 2065-1295, ISSN CD: 2343-9394,ISSN ONLINE 2067-3663
 

HEART TOPOGRAPHY AND PERICARDIC LIGAMENTS OF GUINEA PIGS

Published in Scientific Works. Series C. Veterinary Medicine, Vol. LXI
Written by Florin STAN, Melania CRIȘAN, Aurel DAMIAN, Cristian DEZDROBITU, Cristian MARTONOȘ and Alexandru GUDEA

Small rodents are the most used experimental models in research related to cardiovascular and respiratory system. The guinea pigs occupy a leading position. However, detailed anatomical descriptions of the thoracic cavity of this specie are relatively few in the literature. Compared to mice, rats or hamsters, widely used in research, electrocardiogram waves are similar to humans, making the guinea pigs to be the choice model for studies related to cardiac arrhythmias, and in particular, pharmacological studies. Using gross dissection of the thoracic cavity of ten guinea pigs, this study aims to achieve a detailed description of the heart topography and pericardial ligaments in guinea pigs. Occupying the majority of the narrow thoracic cavity, in the middle mediastinum, in guinea pigs, like all mammals, heart is double layer coated by the pericardium. It lies in the median plane, slightly oriented to the left at the level of 2nd-4th intercostals space and approximately at 1 cm cranial to the xiphoid appendix. External thin walls of the atria are separated from the ventricles by the grooves of coronary arteries and veins, showing multiple branches in all specimens studied. Ventrally and dorsally the ventricles are separated by two shallow interventricular sulci. Pericardial ligaments are well represented and are generated by reflection of the fibrous pericardium on the neighbouring structures, making heart attachment, mechanic protection of the heart and its great vessels. The following ligaments were visualized in all subjects: sterno-pericardial ligaments (cranial and caudal), in four subjects being joined by a thin blade of adipose tissue; phreno-pericardial ligaments (central-strong, left-shorter, missing in two subjects and right-long); dorsally the verterbro-pericardial ligaments which connect the pericard to the spinal cord, more developed on the left side, forming sheaths for the aorta and for the large vessels. In conclusion, pericardial ligaments achieved a dynamic balance, constantly modified in relation to the phases of the cardiac cycle, their knowledge being necessary both practitioners and researchers which uses guinea pigs as experimental models in cardiovascular studies.

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