A detachable tourniquet to aid rodent tail-vasculature catheterisation; especially useful for preclinical imaging

  • Kasper Hansen Department of Forensic Medicine, Aarhus University; Department of Clinical Medicine (Comparative Medicine Lab), Aarhus University; Section for Zoophysiology, Department of Biology, Aarhus University and University of Leicester, East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, Leicester Royal Infirmary


Rodents are frequently used animal models in biomedical research. Catheterisation of a blood vessel in the tail is often performed to enable intravascular access for administration of drugs, fluid or blood sampling. Many experimenters employ a “Minasian tourniquet” to dilate the vasculature in the tail in order to ease catheterisation. Certain experiments, e.g. those that employ preclinical imaging techniques, require relatively long catheter-tubing (~0.5 to 2 meters) to reach the rodent inside the scanner. Following catheter insertion, great care must be taken to carefully guide the loop of the tourniquet back along the entire length of the catheter. To minimise the risk of withdrawing the catheter accidentally during this step, a simple detachable tourniquet was created. This tourniquet can be removed completely and does not require careful guiding of the tourniquet-loop back along the catheter.