Echocardiography is a non-invasive technique that can detect the
presence of localized or generalized hypertrophy or thinning of the
myocardium of the left ventricle (LV) and the presence of regional
or global wall motion abnormalities associated with systolic
dysfunction. The application of transmitral Doppler analysis allows
the detection of abnormal filling patterns associated with LV
The core employs two echocardiography systems, one for high resolution imaging and a high throughput lower resolution imaging system. Echocardiography can be performed on conscious as well as anesthetized mice. In addition to imaging under basal conditions, the mice may undergo stress testing following the administration of dobutamine.
Low-Resolution Echocardiography. A 15 MHz linear-array transducer (Sonos 5500, Agilent) is used for high throughput echocardiography in conscious mice. Measurements include LV wall thickness in the intraventricular septum and posterior wall, diastolic and systolic LV diameter, and heart rate. Fractional shortening and ejection fraction are computed as a measure of systolic function. This system also allows for transmitral Doppler analysis that can detect abnormal filling patterns associated with LV diastolic dysfunction.
High-Resolution Echocardiography. The Vevo 2100 Imaging System (VisualSonics) utilizes a ultra-high frequency 18-38 MHz linear-array transducer with a digital ultrasound system for superior imaging of mouse cardiac morphology and function as well as Doppler analysis. Measurements include those described for the low-resolution echo. In addition, the VevoStrain analysis software provides a highly sensitive speckle-tracking based echocardiographic imaging technique that offers quantitation of the velocity of the walls, displacement, strain, strain rate, and time to peak analysis.