The left pneumonectomy combined with monocrotaline or sugen as a model of pulmonary hypertension in rats

Michael G. Katz, Anthony S. Fargnoli, Sarah M. Gubara, Malik Bisserier, Yassine Sassi, Charles R. Bridges, Roger J. Hajjar, Lahouaria Hadri

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12 Scopus citations


In this protocol, we detail the correct procedural steps and necessary precautions to successfully perform a left pneumonectomy and induce PAH in rats with the additional administration of monocrotaline (MCT) or SU5416 (Sugen). We also compare these two models to other PAH models commonly used in research. In the last few years, the focus of animal PAH models has moved towards studying the mechanism of angioproliferation of plexiform lesions, in which the role of increased pulmonary blood flow is considered as an important trigger in the development of severe pulmonary vascular remodeling. One of the most promising rodent models of increased pulmonary flow is the unilateral left pneumonectomy combined with a “second hit” of MCT or Sugen. The removal of the left lung leads to increased and turbulent pulmonary blood flow and vascular remodeling. Currently, there is no detailed procedure of the pneumonectomy surgery in rats. This article details a step-by-step protocol of the pneumonectomy surgical procedure and post-operative care in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Briefly, the animal is anesthetized and the chest is opened. Once the left pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein, and bronchus are visualized, they are ligated and the left lung is removed. The chest then closed and the animal recovered. Blood is forced to circulate only on the right lung. This increased vascular pressure leads to a progressive remodeling and occlusion of small pulmonary arteries. The second hit of MCT or Sugen is used one week postsurgery to induce endothelial dysfunction. The combination of increased blood flow in the lung and endothelial dysfunction produces severe PAH. The primary limitation of this procedure is that it requires general surgical skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59050
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number145
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Issue 145
  • Lung histology
  • Medicine
  • Monocrotaline
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Right heart failure
  • Sugen
  • Surgical models


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