Introduction. Ischemic heart disease is a major public health problem in western countries. Appropriate animal experimental models of chronic myocardial infarction is an essential first step in order to investigate and develop new therapeutic interventions.
Aim. The aim of this study was to find an optimal place for a coronary artery ligation to induce an optimal chronic myocardial infarction and also a new heart approach that will not require oro-tracheal intubation.
Material and methods. To achieve these goals we used a group of rabbits and after induction of anesthesia and cardiac exposure by rib osteotomy (rib III, IV and V) at the costo-sternal junction level on the right side we performed three different left anterior descending artery (LAD) ligation at different distances (5, 10 and 15 mm) in relation to the apex. Thirty days after the acute myocardial infarction, we correlated laboratory investigations (serology, ECG, cardiac ultrasound) with histopathological findings.
Results. Heart approach achieved by rib osteotomy (rib III, IV and V) at the costo-sternal junction level on the right side, maintains the integrity of the ribcage, allowing it to take part in respiratory movements and the animal model does not need oro-tracheal intubation. Ligation of LAD at 15 mm from the apex was incompatible with life; ligation of LAD at 5 mm from the apex does not achieved transmural myocardial infarction and ligation of LAD at 10 mm from the apex achieved a transmural myocardial infarction of the left ventricle which also involved the distal part of the interventricular septum.
Conclusion. Ligation of LAD at 10 mm from the apex achieved a transmural myocardial infarction of the left ventricle,is in an easily accessible area from technical point of view, it is sufficiently expanded to induce hemodynamic effects that can be quantified with paraclinical examination and also it is compatible with the experimental animal life. If the heart is approached by rib III, IV and V osteotomy at the costo-sternal junction level on the right side combined with neuroleptic anaesthesia, the animal does not need assisted ventilation.


left anterior descending (LAD), acute myocardial infarction, chronic myocardial infarction, coronary artery ligation, oro-tracheal intubation.