Animal models remain essential to understand the fundamental mechanisms occurring in fetal medicine and obstetric diseases, such as intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. These vary regarding the employed method used for induction of the disease, and differ in relation to the animal characteristics (size, number of fetuses, placenta barrier type, etc.). While none of these exactly mirrors the human condition, different pregnant animal models (mice, rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits, sheep and pigs) are here described with respect to advantages and limitations. The ability to employ noninvasively diagnostics varies among species, specifically for ultrasound and clinical magnetic resonance imaging procedures. Management of feeding, handling, care and anesthesia are particularly important factors in the pregnant animal.
Part of the book: Experimental Animal Models of Human Diseases