Improved Animal Model for Vibration Injury Study
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is a debilitating condition that affects millions of power-tool users in the U.S. Research into its etiology has been hampered by deficiencies in animal models used for vibration studies. Our objective was to design an animal vibration injury model that: 1) vibrates only the studied limb, not the body; and 2) avoids anaesthesia, thus allowing purer focus on physiological effects of vibration while reducing pain and distress for the animals, thereby enhancing their well-being. We compared advantages and disadvantages of several models, studying body temperature, body weight, tissue perfusion, vascular pathohistology, and general animal condition. Our model uses an apparatus that limits vibration to one body part and a specially designed cage that minimizes animal stress and suffering, eliminating the need for anaesthesia. It is ideal for the study of vibration injury, providing tissue damaged purely by vibration that can be used for pathohistology and biochemical study.