Preclinical Imaging Anesthesia in Rodents

Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017 Mar;61(1):1-18. doi: 10.23736/S1824-4785.16.02951-4. Epub 2016 Nov 18.


Despite the outstanding progress achieved by preclinical imaging science, laboratory animal anesthesia remains quite stationary. Ninety percent of preclinical imaging studies are carried on small rodents (mice and rats) anesthetized by outdated injectable and/or inhalation agents. A need for imaging awake (conscious) animals is questionably registered mainly for brain research, for phMRI and for accomplishing pain and analgesia studies. A need for improving current rodent anesthesia protocols and for enforcing the 3Rs paradigm is sought. Patient monitoring throughout the procedure and recovery phases, as well as vital parameter's data must be recorded in basic consciousness states and during imaging sessions. A multidrug approach is suggested to overcome the limits of monoanesthesia and well-timed physiological data are required to ground findings and to interpret imaging data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Anesthetics / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Rodentia


  • Anesthetics