Dye-Perfused Human Placenta for Vascular Microneurosurgery Training: Preparation Protocol and Validation Testing

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Background: Human placenta is recognized as a valuable vascular microneurosurgery training model because of its abundant availability, ethical acceptance, and analogous vasculature with other vessels of the human body; however, human placenta laboratory preparation techniques are not well described in the literature. This study outlines a detailed and standardized laboratory protocol for preparation of a color-perfused human placenta model. Survey-based validation of the model is also reported herein. Methods: The protocol involved cleaning and cannulation of the umbilical vein and arteries, irrigation with heparin, and storage at 3°C or freezing at −18°C. Before use, arteries were perfused with carmine/cochineal, and veins were perfused with methylthioninium chloride. A questionnaire with 5 questions was administered to 40 participants among attending or resident neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, and maxillofacial surgeons on 4 consecutive microsurgical courses to assess the reliability of the placenta model. Trainees were divided into 3 groups based on their experience. A χ2 test was used to identify differences between groups. Results: Forty-two placentas were considered appropriate for training and were successfully perfused with dyes. Thirty-three participants completed the questionnaire, of which most, especially advanced and intermediate participants, indicated the placenta as a valuable, accurate, and reproducible model. No differences were observed among the groups. Conclusions: The human placenta is an excellent tool for vascular microneurosurgery laboratory training. Color perfusion enhances the reliability of this model, which was validated by most surgeons, regardless of their experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e854-e864
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Bypass
  • Human placenta
  • Laboratory training
  • Microsurgery
  • Vascular anastomosis
  • Vascular neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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