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Non-invasive restrained ECG recording in conscious small rodents: a new tool for cardiac electrical activity investigation


In vivo electrophysiology remains a suitable method to monitor cardiac activity; however, surface electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring remains complicated in the case of small animals. Sedation has helped to maintain the animal still; however, it is known that anesthetic drugs impair the regulation of the cardiac electrical activity. To circumvent this problem, ECG monitoring using telemetry or restraints has been developed. This study reports a new methodology, based on a restraining system without further sedation, for recording ECGs on small animal models. We investigated its efficacy in Syrian hamsters and in several strains of mice, and we compared these data to those obtained with telemetry devices. We show that this new system can easily be used in animals of different sizes ranging from adult hamsters to newborn mice. When compared to telemetry, this restrained ECG monitoring method shows a very good yield, as 65% of total beats can be used for further analysis. When recorded in the same animals, RR intervals distributions are identical for both techniques. In conclusion, this restrained ECG monitoring technique is a well-suited tool for exploring various aspects of cardiac electrophysiology in a wide variety of small animals including very young mice.

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Correspondence to Y. Fromes.

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Mongue-Din, H., Salmon, A., Fiszman, M.Y. et al. Non-invasive restrained ECG recording in conscious small rodents: a new tool for cardiac electrical activity investigation. Pflugers Arch - Eur J Physiol 454, 165–171 (2007).

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  • Electrophysiology
  • Restraints
  • Electrocardiography
  • Cardiac phenotype
  • Mouse
  • Hamster