Experimental Cardiovascular MR in Small Animals

CMR in Rodents
  • Jürgen E. SchneiderEmail author
  • Stefan Neubauer
Reference work entry


Mice and rats are the most prominent animals used in basic cardiovascular research due to their genetic, physiological, and anatomical similarity with humans, combined with short reproduction cycles and low holding costs. Genetic modifications in rodents create transgenic models with cardiac phenotypes ranging from no overt abnormalities to severe anatomical, functional, and/or metabolic derangements. In addition, surgical techniques are utilized to generate conditions found in patients with heart disease. This large variety of rodent models require a comprehensive characterization from a molecular and cellular level up to the whole heart. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) are arguably the most sophisticated phenotyping techniques capable of covering this wide range. This chapter describes technical requirements underlying the successful application of this versatile and noninvasive tool and gives both routine and cutting-edge examples for cardiovascular MR-phenotyping in small animal models.


Magnetic resonance imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopy Mouse Rat Animal models of cardiovascular disease Cardiac function Heart failure Atherosclerosis 



Our work was funded by Project/Programme Grants and Fellowships from the British Heart Foundation (BHF). We would like to acknowledge the important contributions from our colleagues and collaborators Profs. Kieran Clarke, Robin Choudhury, Craig Lygate, Matthew Robson, Damian Tyler, Drs Paul Cassidy, Dana Dawson, Martina McAteer, and Ms. Karen Hulbert.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radcliffe Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of Oxford, John Radcliffe HospitalOxfordUK

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