Induction of myocardial infarcts of a predictable size and location by branch pattern probability-assisted coronary ligation in C57BL/6 mice

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 Mar;286(3):H1201-7. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00862.2003.


The ability to create experimental myocardial infarctions of reproducible size and location is tantamount to progress in multiple facets of ischemic heart disease research. Branches of the mouse left main descending coronary artery penetrate the myocardium close to their origin and require "blind" ligation. Our objective was to develop a technique for ligation of nonvisible coronary artery branches to permit the reliable creation of infarcts of uniformly small size and location. From latex castings of the left coronary artery of C57BL/6J mice (n = 53), we calculated the highest probability for the location of branch points of two of three left ventricular (LV) branches distal to the origin of the left main descending artery. On the basis of these anatomic probabilities, we blindly ligated two areas that were likely to be locations of these nonvisible LV branches. We were successful in producing two types of small transmural myocardial infarctions (16.04 +/- 3.64 and 4.68 +/- 1.47% of the LV) in 57% of attempts. Thus our branch pattern probability-assisted method permits routine creation of small infarcts of uniform size in the mouse.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Coronary Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Latex
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL*
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Remodeling / physiology


  • Latex