Cardiac puncture

Technique

Cardiac puncture is a suitable technique to obtain a single, large, good quality sample from a euthanised rabbit or a rabbit under deep terminal anaesthesia if coagulation parameters, a separate arterial or venous sample or cardiac histology are not required. It is appropriate for all strains of rabbit.

Slides and video of this technique are available from the Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science and Alternatives.

A sample of 60 - 200 ml of blood can be obtained depending on the size of the rabbit and whether the heart is beating. Blood samples are taken from the heart, preferably the ventricle, which can be accessed either via the left side of the chest, through the diaphragm, from the top of the sternum or via a thoracotomy. Blood should be withdrawn slowly to prevent the heart collapsing.

Summary

Number of samples One
Sample volume 60 - 200 ml, depending on the size of the rabbit.
Equipment 19 - 21G needle
Staff resource One person is required to take the blood sample.

Resources and references

Cardiac puncture sampling in other animals

Click here for information on cardiac puncture blood sampling in the mouseClick here for information on cardiac puncture blood sampling in the ratClick here for information on cardiac puncture blood sampling in the hamsterClick here for information on cardiac puncture blood sampling in the guinea pigClick here for information on cardiac puncture blood sampling in the ferret

All blood sampling techniques in the rabbit

Click here for information on marginal ear vein/artery sampling in the rabbit