Cardiac morphology and function

Knowing the cardiac morphology and function is essential in phenotyping, and a lot of information can be obtained from various imaging modalities. The most relevant are described below. Prices and availability differ depending on the wanted modality. Please contact us for more information.

Echocardiography

Source: FUJIFILM VisualSonics Inc. www.visualsonics.com

An ultrasound examination of the heart is a core phenotypic examination, and while it gives detailed information about morphology, it is also a valuable tool to evaluate functional properties in the heart and vasculature. Echocardiography is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive. The platform offers routine or comprehensive assessment of morphology and function. Routine measurements include evaluation of morphology (wall thickness, mass) and basic function (heart rate, ejection fraction, fractional shortening), while the comprehensive assessment includes Doppler parameters (e.g. E, A, E/A, E’, A’, E’/A’, ET) and analysis of regional strain (speckle tracking) in addition. Choosing what kind of assessment is needed, depends on the expected phenotype (severity, type) in your model. Probes are available both for rodents and larger animals.

The Vevo 2100 system from Fujifilm Visualsonics is used for acquiring data. The system is located at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby.

Source: FUJIFILM VisualSonics Inc. www.visualsonics.com

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to excite hydrogen atoms within the body, allowing for detection of various radio frequency signals. Different tissues create specific signal responses, allowing for the localization and characterizing of soft-tissue. Thus, MRI provides high-resolution 3D images real time, without using radiation. Images can be used for the assessment of both morphology and function in the heart. MicroMRI is available for the whole-body scanning of rodents. MRI is a non-invasive tool, however it requires anesthesia.

It is also possible to use MRI techniques to investigate metabolism, using hyperpolarized MRI.

The microMRI machine is located at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby.