- Resources and references
- Jugular vein sampling in other animals
- All blood sampling techniques in the rat
Please read the general principles of blood sampling page before attempting any blood sampling procedure.
Sampling from the jugular vein can be used with all strains but requires a high degree of competence to avoid harm to the rat. Its use should be limited, for instance, to studies where blood collection is required immediately after dosing (e.g. inhalation and infusion studies) or where a sampling site distal to the dosing site is required (e.g. intravenous studies). Warming of the rat is not required.
One person is required to take the blood sample and another to restrain and monitor the rat. The rat's forepaws are tied to a sloped restraint board with cotton cord tethers and the rat held in dorsal recumbency with one person holding the abdomen and legs. Alternatively, with adequate training, the animal can be restrained entirely by hand. Care needs to be taken in applying the restraint to prevent damage to the forelimbs. If necessary the person taking the blood sample can restrain the head by the use of a head cap. Blood is taken from a small triangular patch of skin just under the scapula. The head is tilted at an angle in the head cap, which makes the site of sampling prominent. If required visualisation of the sampling area can be improved by trimming the animal's fur.
Sampling should be carried out aseptically. 0.1 - 2 ml (normally 0.1 - 0.3 ml) of blood can be collected per sample and, depending on the sample volume and scientific justification, up to eight samples in a 24-hour period. The number of needle sticks at each attempt should be a limited to three. If more samples are needed, then surgical cannulation or temporary cannulation of a different blood vessel should be considered.
Blood flow should be stopped before the rat is returned to its cage by applying gentle pressure to the blood sampling site for thirty seconds.
|Number of samples||No more than eight blood samples should be taken in a 24-hour period.|
|Sample volume||0.1 - 2 ml (normally 0.1 - 0.3 ml)|
|Equipment||23G ( 1" long) needle|
|Staff resource||Two people: one to take the blood sample and another to restrain and monitor the rat.|
|Other||Rats are restrained in an unnatural position, which can cause stress. A high degree of competence is required to perform this technique.|
- Laboratory animal welfare training exchange (2007). Jugular Blood Collection in a Conscious Rat. http://www.lawte.org/sites/default/files/jugular_bl_collect_rat.ppt (Presentation last accessed August 2017)
- Lucas RL, Lentz KD, Hale AS (2004). Collection and preparation of blood products. Clinical techniques in small animal practice 19(2): 55-62.
- Thrivikraman KV, Huot RL, Plotsky PM (2002). Jugular vein catheterization for repeated blood sampling in the unrestrained conscious rat. Brain research protocols, 10(2): 84-94.
- Goldkuhl R, Jacobsen, KR, Kalliokoski O, Hau J, & Abelson KS (2010). Plasma concentrations of corticosterone and buprenorphine in rats subjected to jugular vein catheterization. Laboratory animals 44(4): 337-343.