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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to create an animal model to study rectovaginal fistula repair.
Fourteen New Zealand white rabbits underwent surgical creation of a rectovaginal fistula. The technique was developed with a pilot study conducted on the first two animals, then standardized and performed on the remaining 12 rabbits. The standardized technique included making a defect in the rectovaginal septum using a 3-mm skin punch then splinting the defect with 6-mm tubing for 2 weeks.
Using the standardized technique, a fistula was successfully created in all 12 rabbits ranging from 1 to 5 mm (mean = 2.8 mm, SD = 1.1). A 95% tolerance interval was calculated for the model and predicted that a successful fistula can be created ranging from 0.3 to 5.2 mm in 85% of attempts with the model.
The New Zealand white rabbit is a promising animal model to study rectovaginal fistula repair.
International Urogynecology Journal 02/2010; 21(7):885-8. · 2.17 Impact Factor