Noninvasive ultrasonic measurement of arterial wall motion in mice

Craig J. Hartley, Anilkumar K. Reddy, Sridhar Madala, Mark L. Entman, Lloyd H. Michael, George Taffet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Despite the extensive use of genetically altered mice to study cardiovascular physiology and pathology, it remains difficult to quantify arterial function noninvasively in vivo. We have developed a noninvasive Doppler method for quantifying vessel wall motion in anesthetized mice. A 20-MHz probe was held by an alligator clip and positioned over the carotid arteries of 16 mice, including six 3- to 5-mo-old wild-type (WT), four 30-mo-old senescent (old), two apolipoprotein E null (ApoE), and four α-smooth muscle actin null (α-SMA) mice. Doppler signals were obtained simultaneously from both vessel walls and from blood flow. The calculated displacement signals from the near and far walls were subtracted to generate a diameter signal from which the excursion and an augmentation index were calculated. The excursion ranged between 13 μm (in ApoE) and 95 μm (in α-SMA). The augmentation index was lowest in the WT mice (0.06) and highest in the old mice (0.29). We conclude that Doppler signal processing may be used to measure vessel wall motion in mice with high spatial and temporal resolution and that diameter signals can replace pressure signals for calculating the augmentation index. This noninvasive method is able to identify and confirm characteristic changes in arterial properties previously associated with age, atherosclerosis, and the absence of vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1426-H1432
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 56-3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Arterial mechanics
  • Blood velocity
  • Carotid artery
  • Doppler displacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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