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Introduction: Because the omnivorous Göttingen Minipig is small in size, has a low body weight, and resembles human anatomy in being diphyodont, heterodont, having brachydont incisors and bunodont molars, they are often used as an animal model for orofacial surgical experiments such as dental implant testing. However, there is limited information on their mandibular morphometry, even though this data is important to evaluate age-related changes. The objective of this study was to provide detailed morphometric and growing pattern data using computed tomography and 3D visualization. This study represents a reﬁnement for surgical interventions of the mandible with respect to the 3R principles, which the EU Directive 2010/63 demands to implement in animal testing.
Materials and Methods: CT scans using a 64-slice scanner were obtained from 18 female minipigs: six animals examined at 12 months (group 1, n = 6) and 12 animals (group 2, n = 12; group 3, n = 12) repeatedly examined at the age of 17 and 21 months. Image analysis was performed using Vitrea Advanced â (Vital Images, USA). 45 parameters of mandibular body, ramus and canal, coronoid process and mandibular condyle were measured.
Results: Certain parameters, such as the distance between coronoid process and mandibular condyle, did not change after the pigs reached the age of 17 months. In contrast, some measurements of 12 months old pigs, such as the distance between the caudal mental foramen and the alveolar arch or the volume of the coronoid process, showed higher values than those of 17 months old pigs. The length of the diastema did not change, whilst the distance between the dorsal border of mandibular canal and the alveolar ridge decreased over time.
Conclusion: Measurements indicate a nonlinear allometry, with parameters differing signiﬁcantly between animals of same age. Thus, it is difﬁcult to estimate dimensions of certain parameters in relation to age.