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The text on this page is taken from an informal compilation of opinions of contributors to the online VOLE List. As such, they are not peer reviewed and may contain differences of opinion. Those wishing to contact the list may contact Adrian Smith.

Does an one have any experience with adverse effects associated with splenectomies in mice? I suspect none if the technique is carried out competently, but I just want to check. Similarly does anyone see any adverse effects associated with repeated and long duration imaging (up to 5 hours per session)?

We do a lot of repeat long duration MRI in mice. They do surprisingly well (they recover normal function quickly and seemingly completely) if anaesthetised with volatile agents and kept physiologically stable (we have ECG and measure respiratory rate, pattern and depth, temperature).  

As for how often and for how long is ok to scan them, it really depends on what you're imaging them for.  If it's neuroscience related there is a considerable literature on the neurotoxic and systemic immune function effects of anaesthesia - which are dependant on the number of exposures (both adults and neonates - some adult data as yet unpublished).  It seems unlikely that effects are limited to the documented long term behavioural impairment but there is less data available where there isn't a known functional disruption.  You wouldn't know to look at these animals in a cage that there is anything different from a naive mouse, so as yet no suggestion it's associated with suffering but it could certainly affect scientific outcome.  

Best approach might be to do a literature search for an association between anaesthesia and the outcome measures of the study. If nothing comes up, base individual animal assessments on the usual and consider adding number of exposures to the analysis of control data.