Echocardiography is a reliable and reproducible method to assess non-invasively cardiac function in clinical and experimental research. Significant progress in the development of echocardiographic equipment and transducers has led to the successful translation of this methodology from humans to rodents, allowing for the scoring of disease severity and progression, testing of new drugs, and monitoring cardiac function in genetically modified or pharmacologically treated animals. However, as yet, there is no standardization in the procedure to acquire echocardiographic measurements in small animals. This position paper focuses on the appropriate acquisition and analysis of echocardiographic parameters in adult mice and rats, and provides reference values, representative images and videos for the accurate and reproducible quantification of left ventricular function in healthy and pathological conditions.
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