Heart Rate and Electrocardiography Monitoring in Mice

Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2011 Mar 1:1:123-139. doi: 10.1002/9780470942390.mo100159.


The majority of current cardiovascular research involves studies in genetically engineered mouse models. The measurement of heart rate is central to understanding cardiovascular control under normal conditions, with altered autonomic tone, superimposed stress or disease states, both in wild type mice as well as those with altered genes. Electrocardiography (ECG) is the "gold standard" using either hard wire or telemetry transmission. In addition, heart rate is measured or monitored from the frequency of the arterial pressure pulse or cardiac contraction, or by pulse oximetry. For each of these techniques, discussions of materials and methods, as well as advantages and limitations are covered. However, only the direct ECG monitoring will determine not only the precise heart rates but also whether the cardiac rhythm is normal or not.