Standardisation and future of preclinical echocardiography

Caroline E., O’Riordan, Philippe, Trochet, Magdelena, Steiner, Dieter, Fuchs

Mammalian Genome |

Echocardiography is a non-invasive imaging technique providing real-time information to assess the structure and function of the heart. Due to advancements in technology, ultra-high-frequency transducers have enabled the translation of ultrasound from humans to small animals due to resolutions down to 30 µm. Most studies are performed using mice and rats, with ages ranging from embryonic, to neonatal, and adult. In addition, alternative models such as zebrafish and chicken embryos are becoming more frequently used. With the achieved high temporal and spatial resolution in real-time, cardiac function can now be monitored throughout the lifespan of these small animals to investigate the origin and treatment of a range of acute and chronic pathological conditions. With the increased relevance of in vivo real-time imaging, there is still an unmet need for the standardisation of small animal echocardiography and the appropriate cardiac measurements that should be reported in preclinical cardiac models. This review focuses on the development of standardisation in preclinical echocardiography and reports appropriate cardiac measurements throughout the lifespan of rodents: embryonic, neonatal, ageing, and acute and chronic pathologies. Lastly, we will discuss the future of cardiac preclinical ultrasound.