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Systematic evaluation of skeletal fractures caused by induction of electroconvulsive seizures in rat state a need for attention and refinement of the procedure

Ekemohn, Maria LU ; Kjær Nielsen, Marie; Grahm, Matilda LU ; Tingström, Anders LU ; Kousholt, Birgitte; Wegener, Gregers and Bay-Richter, Cecilie LU (2017) In Acta Neuropsychiatrica
Abstract

Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most efficient treatments for major depression. Electroconvulsive seizures (ECS), the animal model of ECT, is widely used to study both mechanisms of action and adverse effects of ECT. As the treatment itself serves as an instant anaesthetic and anaesthetic agents may affect memory functions and behaviour, ECS is traditionally administered without muscle relaxation and anaesthesia. A major problem of unmodified ECS, which has only been addressed peripherally in the literature, is that some animals sustain spinal fractures and subsequent hind leg paralysis (paraplegia). This phenomenon leads to a higher degree of suffering and these animals need to be excluded from the studies. To... (More)

Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most efficient treatments for major depression. Electroconvulsive seizures (ECS), the animal model of ECT, is widely used to study both mechanisms of action and adverse effects of ECT. As the treatment itself serves as an instant anaesthetic and anaesthetic agents may affect memory functions and behaviour, ECS is traditionally administered without muscle relaxation and anaesthesia. A major problem of unmodified ECS, which has only been addressed peripherally in the literature, is that some animals sustain spinal fractures and subsequent hind leg paralysis (paraplegia). This phenomenon leads to a higher degree of suffering and these animals need to be excluded from the studies. To reach sufficient statistical power, the group sizes are therefore often increased and this may lead to a pre-selected study group in risk of skewing the results. Moreover, the study design of the experiments do not comply with the 3R principles, which advocate for both refinement and reduction of animal experiments. The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate injuries caused by ECS. Methods: We summarise the incidence of spinal fractures from 24 studies conducted during 2009–2015 in six different rat strains and report preliminary findings on scapular fractures following auricular ECS. Results: In total, 12.8% of all tested animals suffered from spinal fractures and we find an increase in spinal fracture incidence over time. Furthermore, X-ray analyses revealed that some animals displayed scapular fractures. Conclusion: We discuss consequences of and possible explanations for ECS-induced fractures. Modifications of the method are highly warranted and we furthermore suggest that all animals are thoroughly examined for discrete fractures.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
electroconvulsive seizures, rat, skeletal fractures, X-ray
in
Acta Neuropsychiatrica
pages
11 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017135133
ISSN
0924-2708
DOI
10.1017/neu.2017.7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b383a0be-929c-49b6-91ab-bb786a21c755
date added to LUP
2017-05-08 12:59:17
date last changed
2017-09-20 14:34:09
@article{b383a0be-929c-49b6-91ab-bb786a21c755,
  abstract     = {<p>Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most efficient treatments for major depression. Electroconvulsive seizures (ECS), the animal model of ECT, is widely used to study both mechanisms of action and adverse effects of ECT. As the treatment itself serves as an instant anaesthetic and anaesthetic agents may affect memory functions and behaviour, ECS is traditionally administered without muscle relaxation and anaesthesia. A major problem of unmodified ECS, which has only been addressed peripherally in the literature, is that some animals sustain spinal fractures and subsequent hind leg paralysis (paraplegia). This phenomenon leads to a higher degree of suffering and these animals need to be excluded from the studies. To reach sufficient statistical power, the group sizes are therefore often increased and this may lead to a pre-selected study group in risk of skewing the results. Moreover, the study design of the experiments do not comply with the 3R principles, which advocate for both refinement and reduction of animal experiments. The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate injuries caused by ECS. Methods: We summarise the incidence of spinal fractures from 24 studies conducted during 2009–2015 in six different rat strains and report preliminary findings on scapular fractures following auricular ECS. Results: In total, 12.8% of all tested animals suffered from spinal fractures and we find an increase in spinal fracture incidence over time. Furthermore, X-ray analyses revealed that some animals displayed scapular fractures. Conclusion: We discuss consequences of and possible explanations for ECS-induced fractures. Modifications of the method are highly warranted and we furthermore suggest that all animals are thoroughly examined for discrete fractures.</p>},
  author       = {Ekemohn, Maria and Kjær Nielsen, Marie and Grahm, Matilda and Tingström, Anders and Kousholt, Birgitte and Wegener, Gregers and Bay-Richter, Cecilie},
  issn         = {0924-2708},
  keyword      = {electroconvulsive seizures,rat,skeletal fractures,X-ray},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  pages        = {11},
  series       = {Acta Neuropsychiatrica},
  title        = {Systematic evaluation of skeletal fractures caused by induction of electroconvulsive seizures in rat state a need for attention and refinement of the procedure},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/neu.2017.7},
  year         = {2017},
}