Left atrial volume and pulmonary artery diameter are noninvasive measures of age-related diastolic dysfunction in mice

Guillermo Medrano, Jesus Hermosillo-Rodriguez, Thuy Pham, Alejandro Granillo, Craig J. Hartley, Anilkumar Reddy, Patricia Mejia Osuna, Mark L. Entman, George E. Taffet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Impaired cardiac diastolic function occurs with aging in many species and may be difficult to measure noninvasively. In humans, left atrial (LA) volume is a robust measure of chronic diastolic function as the LA is exposed to increased left ventricular filling pressures. We hypothesized that LA volume would be a useful indicator of diastolic function in aging mice. Further, we asked whether pressures were propagated backwards affecting pulmonary arteries (PAs) and right ventricle (RV). We measured LA, PA, and RV infundibulum dimensions with echocardiography and used mouse-specific Doppler systems and pressure catheters for noninvasive and invasive measures. As C57BL/6 mice aged from 3 to 29-31 months, LA volume almost tripled. LA volume increases correlated with traditional diastolic function measures. Within groups of 14-and 31-month-old mice, LA volume correlated with diastolic function measured invasively. In serial studies, mice evaluated at 20 and 24 months showed monotonic increases in LA volume; other parameters changed less predictably. PA diameters, larger in 30-month-old mice than 6-month-old mice, correlated with LA volumes. Noninvasive LA volume and PA diameter assessments are useful and state independent measures of diastolic function in mice, correlating with other measures of diastolic dysfunction in aging. Furthermore, serial measurements over 4 months demonstrated consistent increases in LA volume suitable for longitudinal cardiac aging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1150
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Aging
  • Diastolic function
  • Left atrium
  • Pulmonary artery
  • Serial studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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