Background and study aims: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) has evolved into a clinically useful imaging modality. Widespread application of EUS has been hampered by the long learning curve and the paucity of training programs. We report here our efforts to develop an animal model for teaching endoscopic ultrasound.
Materials and methods: The protocol for performing endoscopic ultrasound in live pigs included general anesthesia, endotracheal intubation, and mechanical ventilatory support. An echo-endoscope was then inserted into the pig gastrointestinal tract, and attempts were made to obtain ultrasound images that were comparable to human endoscopic ultrasound images. Intervention under EUS guidance was then attempted in the swine.
Results: It was possible to image the esophageal and gastric wall, pancreas, aorta, celiac artery, superior mesenteric artery, liver, and portal vein. The images obtained were analogous to human endoscopic ultrasound images. EUS-guided interventional techniques were also carried out, including EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration and celiac plexus neurolysis.
Conclusions: A swine model appears to be useful for hands-on teaching in endoscopic ultrasound imaging and intervention under endoscopic ultrasound guidance.