Open Access Open Badges Research

A quantitative comparison of regional myocardial motion in mice, rabbits and humans using in-vivo phase contrast CMR

Bernd Jung1*, Katja E Odening2, Erica Dall’Armellina3, Daniela Föll2, Marius Menza1, Michael Markl4 and Jürgen E Schneider3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

2 Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

3 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

4 Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2012, 14:87  doi:10.1186/1532-429X-14-87

Published: 27 December 2012



Genetically manipulated animals like mice or rabbits play an important role in the exploration of human cardiovascular diseases. It is therefore important to identify animal models that closely mimic physiological and pathological human cardiac function.


In-vivo phase contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) was used to measure regional three-directional left ventricular myocardial motion with high temporal resolution in mice (N=18), rabbits (N=8), and humans (N=20). Radial, long-axis, and rotational myocardial velocities were acquired in left ventricular basal, mid-ventricular, and apical short-axis locations.


Regional analysis revealed different patterns of motion: 1) In humans and rabbits, the apex showed slower radial velocities compared to the base. 2) Significant differences within species were seen in the pattern of long-axis motion. Long-axis velocities during systole were fairly homogeneously distributed in mice, whereas humans showed a dominant component in the lateral wall and rabbits in the base. 3) Rotational velocities and twist showed the most distinct patterns in both temporal evolution and relative contribution of base, mid-ventricle and apex, respectively. Interestingly, a marked difference in rotational behavior during early-systole was found in mice, which exhibited clockwise rotation in all slice locations compared to counter-clockwise rotation in rabbits and humans.


Phase contrast CMR revealed subtle, but significantly different regional myocardial motion patterns in mice, rabbits and humans. This finding has to be considered when investigating myocardial motion pattern in small animal models of heart disease.

Cardiovascular MR; Left ventricular function; Mice; Rabbits; Humans