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J Vis Exp. 2010 Aug 8;(42). pii: 2100. doi: 10.3791/2100.

Murine echocardiography and ultrasound imaging.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester, USA.

Abstract

Rodent models of cardiac pathophysiology represent a valuable research tool to investigate mechanism of disease as well as test new therapeutics. Echocardiography provides a powerful, non-invasive tool to serially assess cardiac morphometry and function in a living animal. However, using this technique on mice poses unique challenges owing to the small size and rapid heart rate of these animals. Until recently, few ultrasound systems were capable of performing quality echocardiography on mice, and those generally lacked the image resolution and frame rate necessary to obtain truly quantitative measurements. Newly released systems such as the VisualSonics Vevo2100 provide new tools for researchers to carefully and non-invasively investigate cardiac function in mice. This system generates high resolution images and provides analysis capabilities similar to those used with human patients. Although color Doppler has been available for over 30 years in humans, this valuable technology has only recently been possible in rodent ultrasound. Color Doppler has broad applications for echocardiography, including the ability to quickly assess flow directionality in vessels and through valves, and to rapidly identify valve regurgitation. Strain analysis is a critical advance that is utilized to quantitatively measure regional myocardial function. This technique has the potential to detect changes in pathology, or resolution of pathology, earlier than conventional techniques. Coupled with the addition of three-dimensional image reconstruction, volumetric assessment of whole-organs is possible, including visualization and assessment of cardiac and vascular structures. Murine-compatible contrast imaging can also allow for volumetric measurements and tissue perfusion assessment.

PMID:
20736912
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3156019
Free PMC Article
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