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Am J Physiol. 1999 Nov;277(5):H1967-74. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1999.277.5.H1967.

Echocardiographic assessment of cardiac function in conscious and anesthetized mice.

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Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.


Using a high-frequency linear transducer (15L8), we studied 1) the feasibility of performing echocardiography in nonanesthetized mice compared with mice given pentobarbital sodium (Pento) or a mixture of ketamine and xylazine and 2) the feasibility of echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, dilatation, and function in mice with two-kidney, one-clip hypertension or myocardial infarction (MI). Heart rate (HR) in awake mice was 658 +/- 9 beats/min; Pento and ketamine plus xylazine reduced HR to 377 +/- 11 and 293 +/- 19 beats/min, respectively, associated with a significant decrease in shortening fraction (SF), ejection fraction (EF), and cardiac output (CO) and an increase in LV end-diastolic (LVEDD) and end-systolic dimensions (LVESD). Mice with 4 wk of two-kidney, one-clip hypertension had increased LV mass (15.62 +/- 0. 62 vs. 22.17 +/- 1.79 mg) without altered LV dimensions, SF, EF, or CO. Mice studied 4 wk post-MI exhibited obvious LV dilatation and systolic dysfunction, as evidenced by increased LVEDD and LVESD and decreased SF, EF, and CO. Our findings clearly show the adverse impact of anesthesia on basal cardiac function and the difficulty in interpreting data obtained from anesthetized mice. We believe this is the first study to demonstrate the feasibility of using echocardiography to assess cardiovascular function in the nonanesthetized mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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