Week of 19 January 2021


New IMMR feature: First in a series of 3

This is an image of an ovine (sheep) aortic arch!

Here’s how we know: In ovine species, from the aortic arch (red arrow) emerges only one branch, the brachiocephalic trunk (green arrow). It supplies blood to the forelimbs, head, neck, and ventral portion of the chest. The brachiocephalic trunk gives rise to both subclavian arteries (left and right) and continues as the bicarotid trunk. The bicarotid trunk bifurcates into the left and right common carotid arteries.

Sheep have emerged as a widely used model for surgical and interventional medical device evaluation, especially with respect to cardiac valve replacement and repair. Anatomic and physiologic similarities between sheep and humans make ovine species highly relevant animal models for translational research in cardiovascular medical device innovation. Understanding the differences between ovine and human anatomy is critical to guiding medical technology development and extrapolating observations in sheep models to the expected safety and performance of medical devices in human patients.

This image is a 3D reconstruction of cardiovascular anatomy acquired using IMMR’s state-of-the-art 64-slice gated CT scanning system and 3mensio 3D reconstruction software.

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