Repeated invasive lung function measurements in intubated mice: an approach for longitudinal lung research

Lab Anim. 2011 Apr;45(2):81-9. doi: 10.1258/la.2010.010111. Epub 2011 Feb 28.


Invasive lung function measurements are useful tools to describe respiratory disease models in mice but only result in one time-point measurements because of tracheostomy. We explored if intubation may overcome the need for tracheostomy thereby allowing invasive lung function monitoring of individual mice over time. Repeated invasive lung function measurements with Scireq(©) - FlexiVent or Buxco(©) - Forced Pulmonary Maneuvers(®) were performed three times in BALB/c mice with intervals of 10 days. Each lung function assessment following intubation was compared with a similar measurement in age-matched tracheostomized mice, the golden standard in lung function measurements. Tracheostomy and intubation gave similar results for resistance, elastance and compliance of the whole respiratory system as assessed by Flexivent. Likewise, Forced Pulmonary Maneuvers used to measure lung volumes such as total lung capacity, functional residual capacity, forced expiratory volume in 0.1 s and forced vital capacity, resulted in identical outcomes for both airway approaches. No interaction was found between the procedures for any of the pulmonary function variables. The observed changes over time were rather related to animal growth than to repetitive intubation. Eighty percent of the animals survived three consecutive intubations, which were hampered by transient breathing difficulties, weight loss and neutrophilic bronchoalveolar lavage immediately postextubation. Repetitive invasive lung function measurements by intubation are feasible and reproducible in healthy mice and results are comparable to the standard method. This may open new perspectives for longitudinal research in animal models of respiratory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Feasibility Studies*
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Functional Residual Capacity
  • Intubation / methods*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Tracheostomy / methods*
  • Vital Capacity