MEDICAL HYPOTHESES AND RESEARCH
VOL. 3, No. 2, April 2006



A. Mueller, et al. [2006] Med Hypotheses Res 3: 699-708.



Extracorporeally Perfused Non-pregnant Swine Uteri: A
Model for Evaluating Uterine Contractility, Peristalsis
and Transport Mechanisms



Andreas Mueller*, Theodoros Maltaris, Inge Hoffmann,
Matthias W. Beckmann and Ralf Dittrich

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erlangen University Hospital,
Universitaetsstrasse 21–23, 91054 Erlangen, Germany


Abstract. Objective: To establish an experimental model of extracorporeally perfused
non-pregnant swine uteri for the study of uterine contractility, peristalsis and transport
mechanisms through the female genital tract using an intrauterine double-chip
microcatheter. In order to validate the model described biochemical parameters were
assessed during the whole perfusion time. Methods: An extracorporeal perfusion model of
swine uteri was used to keep the uterus in a functional condition and is appropriate for the
study of physiological questions. Thirty-two swine uteri were perfused with different
concentrations of 17β-estradiol simulating the hormone levels during the periovulatory phase
and to provide an estrogen-priming of the uteri. Oxytocin-induced uterine contractility and
peristalsis was assessed using an intrauterine double-chip microcatheter. Results: The vitality
parameters remained physiological during the first 8 hours of perfusion. A dose-dependent
increase in IUP in the isthmus (
P < 0.005) and corpus uteri (P < 0.005) was observed. The
pressure increase was significantly higher in the isthmus uteri than in the corpus uteri at all
concentrations tested resulting in a cervico-fundic pressure gradient. In addition, significant
more peristalsis started in the isthmus uteri and was moving in the direction of the corpus
uteri (
P < 0.001). Conclusions: The extracorporeally perfusion model of non-pregnant swine
uteri kept the uterus in a functional condition and showed a good preservation of the organ
for up to eight hours. Therefore this ex-vivo perfusion model can serve as an adequate model
for studying uterine contractility, peristalsis and transport mechanisms in obstetrics and
reproductive medicine and can be used for further in vitro experiments.

*Address all correspondence to: Dr. Andreas Mueller, Department of Obstetrics
and Gynaecology, Erlangen University Hospital, Universitaetsstrasse 21-23, 91054 Erlangen,
Germany. Phone: +49-9131-8533553. Fax: +49-9131-8533552.
E-mail:
andreas.mueller@gyn.imed.uni-erlangen.de



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