Blood sampling of rodents
Among usual experimental manipulations, blood sampling is probably the most frequent in animal studies and, once more, recent scientific literature shows that almost half of such studies are in rodents.
In the last decades, techniques for blood sampling have gained some technical improvement and even sophistication. In addition, the publication of the Directive 2010/63/EU gave a legal support to the 3Rs concept and researchers are progressively aware of the need to refine the experimental techniques. In fact, in the last years, some interesting studies comparing animal welfare impact of blood-sampling techniques were published.
For a correct and effective blood sampling, many things must be taken into account: physiologic blood volume, maximum sample volume, maximum frequency of extraction, identification and access of vessel for puncture, technical procedure for extraction materials for puncture, containers for samples, and skills and proficiency of staff, among others.
In 1993 an essential guide entitled, “Removal of blood from laboratory mammals and birds” was published (Laboratory Animals 1993; 27: 1-22). Thirty years later, it appears evident the need to review and revise the state of the art.
The goal of this Working Group is to develop a guide for blood sampling procedures in rodents.