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Small Animal Hemodynamic Core


The purpose of the Core is to provide technical services for the cardiac-pulmonary functional evaluation of small animals. Currently the core provides echocardiography for mouse and rat. Echocardiography is a powerful tool for small animal cardiac morphologic and cardiac-pulmonary functional study, as well as treatment/intervention follow-up. Echocardiography is useful in all the research fields where cardiac-pulmonary morphology and function are involved.

The major advantages of echocardiography in animals are:

  • Non-invasive study, animal is kept intact for any other studies
  • Multiple parameters can be obtained from the same animal
  • Animal can be followed up at different time points, as many and as long as needed.
  • The Small Animal Hemodynamic Core is open to anyone for its services at a nominal fee.

The following cardiac parameters can be obtained and followed up by echocardiography in sedated rats and mice:

Ventricular dimensions (systolic and diastolic):

  • Left ventricle for rat and mouse

  • Right ventricle for rat

Ventricular wall thickness:

  • Left ventricle for rat and mouse
  • Right ventricle for rat

Doppler flow of aortic, pulmonary and mitral valves Peak flow velocity

  • Ejection time
  • Pulmonary artery flow acceleration time (PAAT)
  • Tricuspid regurgitation can be observed in severe pulmonary hypertension in rat

Left ventricular Fractional Shortening (FS) and Fractional Area Change (FAC) or Ejection Fraction (EF)
Right ventricular fractional shortening (FS)
Stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (CO)
Heart rate

The Small Animal Hemodynamic Core is also performs other services that can be contracted on a fee-for-service basis. They are:

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Transverse aortic banding in rat and mouse (pressure overload)
  • Myocardial infarction in rat and mouse

Cardiac catheterization for rat and mouse

  • Systolic and end diastolic pressures of left and right ventricles
  • Pulmonary artery pressure and right atrium pressure
  • Pressure-volume loop

Telemetry for ECG and blood pressure monitoring in conscious rat and mouse
Isolation of individual cardiac myocytes by collagenase perfusion

For any questions regarding the core or to obtain services and charges please get in touch with:
Maria Cavasin, PhD
Email: maria.cavasin@ucdenver.edu