DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATHEROSCLEROTIC ROOSTER MODEL
Cholesterol-fed White Leghorn roosters were investigated as an avian model of atherosclerosis in this laboratory We utilized angioplasty balloon induced aortic injury in cholesterol-fed roosters as a model for invasive cardiovascular research. We have reported the first trials with this model for use in testing invasive devices for recanalization of occluded arteries.
This model has several advantages over the models currently used for interventional cardiovascular research. The atherosclerotic plaque produced in roosters is similar to that seen in human arteries, ranging from fatty or fibrous to complex calcified or ulcerated lesions in the intimal layer. The peripheral femoral and iliac arteries of roosters are tortuous and enter the abdominal aorta at a sharp angle. The size of the arteries is similar to human coronary arteries. This model therefore presents similar challenges to entering the artery and performing atherectomy as might he seen in vivo in human coronary arteries. The roosters tolerate the gas anesthetic and surgery well.
To date, we have had evidence of visible obstructive abdominal aortic plaque in 4/9 of the roosters in the first study and in two of the roosters in the second trial. These results are similar to what has been observed with other atherosclerotic models used for interventional cardiovascular research.