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Cardiovasc Res. 2019 Nov 1;115(13):1838-1849. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvz161.

Small animal models of heart failure.

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Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover, Germany.


Heart disease is a major cause of death worldwide with increasing prevalence, which urges the development of new therapeutic strategies. Over the last few decades, numerous small animal models have been generated to mimic various pathomechanisms contributing to heart failure (HF). Despite some limitations, these animal models have greatly advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of the different aetiologies of HF and paved the way to understanding the underlying mechanisms and development of successful treatments. These models utilize surgical techniques, genetic modifications, and pharmacological approaches. The present review discusses the strengths and limitations of commonly used small animal HF models, which continue to provide crucial insight and facilitate the development of new treatment strategies for patients with HF.


Animal models; HFpEF; HFrEF; Heart failure; Rodents

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