2006 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 139-147
This study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in rats using continuous intravenous infusion (tail cuff method) via the posterior vena cava. A catheter was inserted into the posterior vena cava from the femoral vein of 10 females (Experiment 1) and 16 females (Experiment 2). The depth of the inserted catheter from the femoral vein was set at 4.5 cm for Experiment 1 and was set at 6 cm for Experiment 2. The test animals were divided into two groups in each experiment: a 5% D-Mannitol (MAN) group and a TPN group. In Experiment 1, TPN rats showed macroscopic lesions (edema in peritoneum, increased collateral vasculature, induration in perivenous tissue, and thrombus) at the tip of the catheter. The diameter of the posterior vena cava (2.86 ± 0.16 mm, mean ± S.D.) was significantly greater than that of the anterior vena cava (2.45 ± 0.22 mm) in 10 rats of Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, TPN rats showed no abnormalities at necropsy. Our findings suggest that TPN administered via the posterior vena cava in Sprague-Dawley rats requires the catheter to be inserted to a depth of 6 cm from the femoral vein. We hypothesize that this is because it is inserted to the level of the renal vein branch where the diameter of the posterior vena cava may be greatest.