European Spine Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 114–120 | Cite as

A new ovine model of spine and chest wall deformity at birth with alteration of respiratory system mechanics and lung development: a feasibility study

  • Stefan ParentEmail author
  • Nathalie Samson
  • Jesse Shen
  • Gabriel Gutman
  • Sarah Bouchard
  • Bruno Piedboeuf
  • Jean-Paul Praud
Original Article



To develop an animal model of spine and chest wall deformity (CWD) at birth and to evaluate its effects on respiratory system mechanics and lung development.


A spine and CWD was created in utero between 70 and 75 days of gestation in six ovine fetuses by resection of the seventh and eighth left ribs. Two days after birth, respiratory system mechanics was assessed in anesthetized lambs using the flexiVent apparatus, followed by postmortem measurement of lung mechanics as well as histological lung analysis.


A range of severity of CWD was found (Cobb angle from 0° to 48°) with a mean decrease in compliance of 47% and in inspiratory capacity of 39% compared to control lambs. Proof-of-concept histological analysis in one lamb showed marked lung hypoplasia.


Our ovine model represents a pilot proof-of-concept study evaluating the impact of a spine and CWD present at birth on lung respiratory mechanics and development. This study lays down the groundwork for future studies evaluating the impact of these deformities on lung development and potential treatments.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.


Chest wall deformity Fetal surgery Respiratory function Lamb Animal model 



The authors wish to acknowledge Dr Charles Duvareille for Cobb angle measurements, as well as the technical help of Jean-Philippe Gagné. This study was supported by a Small Exploratory grant of the Scoliosis Research Society, the Academic Research Chair in Pediatric Spinal Deformities of CHU-Sainte-Justine allocated to S Parent and the Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Respiratory Physiology allocated to J-P Praud. J-P Praud is a member of the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke.


This work was supported by the Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Respiratory Physiology allocated to J-P Praud, Scoliosis Research Society (Small Exploratory grant) and the Academic Research Chair in Pediatric Spinal Deformities of CHU-Sainte-Justine allocated to S Parent.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

SP received Royalties and consultancy outside the submitted work from EOS-Imaging; he is also stockowner of Spinologics; he received honorarium and consultancy from K2M, DePuy Synthes Spine and Medtronic. His institution received grants from: DePuy Synthes Spine, Canadian Institutes o Health Research, Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, Scoliosis Research Society, Medtronic, EOS imaging, Canadian Foundation for innovation, Setting Scoliosis Straight foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Fonds de recherche Québec-Santé, Orthopaedic Research and Research Education Foundation. His institution also received fellowship support from Medtronic and DePuy Synthes. JS received an educational grant from Fonds de recherche du Québec- Santé and he is also receiving a salary from Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec. NS, GG, SB and BP have nothing to disclose. JP received the research Chair in Neonatal Respiratory Physiology and a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


The ethics committee for animal care and experimentation of the Université de Sherbrooke approved the study.

Supplementary material

586_2018_5818_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 1610 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryCentre de recherche du CHU Sainte-JustineMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Neonatal Respiratory Research Unit, Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology-PhysiologyUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de QuébecQuebecCanada

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