Rectovaginal fistula model in the New Zealand white rabbit

Matthew J. Aungst, John R. Fischer, Michael R. Bonhage, Todd S. Albright, Kathleen A. Noel, Johnnie Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to create an animal model to study rectovaginal fistula repair. Methods: Fourteen New Zealand white rabbits underwent surgical creation of a rectovaginal fistula. The technique was developed with a pilot study conducted on the first two animals, then standardized and performed on the remaining 12 rabbits. The standardized technique included making a defect in the rectovaginal septum using a 3-mm skin punch then splinting the defect with 6-mm tubing for 2 weeks. Results: Using the standardized technique, a fistula was successfully created in all 12 rabbits ranging from 1 to 5 mm (mean=2.8 mm, SD=1.1). A 95% tolerance interval was calculated for the model and predicted that a successful fistula can be created ranging from 0.3 to 5.2 mm in 85% of attempts with the model. Conclusion: The New Zealand white rabbit is a promising animal model to study rectovaginal fistula repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-888
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Animal models
  • Fistula
  • New Zealand white rabbit
  • Rectovaginal fistula


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