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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2000 Oct;26(8):1275-83.

40 MHz Doppler characterization of umbilical and dorsal aortic blood flow in the early mouse embryo.

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Pediatric Cardiology Program, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Physiological study of the developing mouse circulation has lagged behind advances in molecular cardiology. Using an innovative high-frequency Doppler system, we noninvasively characterized circulatory hemodynamics in early mouse embryos. We used image-guided 43 MHz pulsed-wave (PW) Doppler ultrasound to study the umbilical artery and vein, or dorsal aorta in 109 embryos. Studies were conducted on embryonic days (E) 9.5-14.5. Heart rate, peak blood flow velocities, and velocity time integrals in all vessels increased from E9.5-14.5, indicating increasing stroke volume and cardiac output. Heart rate, ranging from 192 bpm (E9.5) to 261 bpm (E14.5), was higher than previously reported. Placental impedance, assessed by the time delay between the peaks of the umbilical arterial and venous waveforms and by venous pulsatility, decreased with gestation. Acceleration time, a load-independent Doppler index of cardiac contractility, remained constant but seemed sensitive to heart rate. High-frequency PW Doppler is a powerful tool for the quantitative, noninvasive investigation of early mouse circulatory development.

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