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Cephalometric studies of the mandible, its masticatory muscles and vasculature of growing Göttingen Minipigs—A comparative anatomical study to refine experimental mandibular surgery

Corte, G.M., Hünigen, H., Richardson, K.C., Niehues, S.M. and Plendl, J. (2019) Cephalometric studies of the mandible, its masticatory muscles and vasculature of growing Göttingen Minipigs—A comparative anatomical study to refine experimental mandibular surgery. PLoS ONE, 14 (4).

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Abstract

Over many decades, the Göttingen Minipig has been used as a large animal model in experimental surgical research of the mandible. Recently several authors have raised concerns over the use of the Göttingen Minipig in this research area, observing problems with post-operative wound healing and loosening implants. To reduce these complications during and after surgery and to improve animal welfare in mandibular surgery research, the present study elucidated how comparable the mandible of minipigs is to that of humans and whether these complications could be caused by specific anatomical characteristics of the minipigs’ mandible, its masticatory muscles and associated vasculature. Twenty-two mandibular cephalometric parameters were measured on CT scans of Göttingen Minipigs aged between 12 and 21 months. Ultimately, we compared this data with human data reported in the scientific literature. In addition, image segmentation was used to determine the masticatory muscle morphology and the configuration of the mandibular blood vessels. Compared to data of humans, significant differences in the mandibular anatomy of minipigs were found. Of the 22 parameters measured only four were found to be highly comparable, whilst the others were not. The 3D examinations of the minipigs vasculature showed a very prominent deep facial vein directly medial to the mandibular ramus and potentially interfering with the sectional plane of mandibular distraction osteogenesis. Damage to this vessel could result in inaccessible bleeding. The findings of this study suggest that Göttingen Minipigs are not ideal animal models for experimental mandibular surgery research. Nevertheless if these minipigs are used the authors recommend that radiographic techniques, such as computed tomography, be used in the specific planning procedures for the mandibular surgical experiments. In addition, it is advisable to choose suitable age groups and customize implants based on the mandibular dimensions reported in this study.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2019 Corte et al.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/45541
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