History, ethics, advantages and limitations of experimental models for hepatic ablation.World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan 14;19(2):147-54
Authors: Ong SL, Gravante G, Metcalfe MS, Dennison AR
Numerous techniques developed in medicine require careful evaluation to determine their indications, limitations and potential side effects prior to their clinical use. At present this generally involves the use of animal models which is undesirable from an ethical standpoint, requires complex and time-consuming authorization, and is very expensive. This process is exemplified in the development of hepatic ablation techniques, starting experiments on explanted livers and progressing to safety and efficacy studies in living animals prior to clinical studies. The two main approaches used are ex vivo isolated non-perfused liver models and in vivo animal models. Ex vivo non perfused models are less expensive, easier to obtain but not suitable to study the heat sink effect or experiments requiring several hours. In vivo animal models closely resemble clinical subjects but often are expensive and have small sample sizes due to ethical guidelines. Isolated perfused ex vivo liver models have been used to study drug toxicity, liver failure, organ transplantation and hepatic ablation and combine advantages of both previous models.