Chronic measurement of cardiac output in unanesthetized rats using miniature thermocouples

J. W. Osborn, B. J. Barber, E. W. Quillen, R. J. Abram, A. W. Cowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A thermodilution technique is described for measuring steady-state cardiac output (CO) in conscious rats for periods of 2-3 wk. The method utilizes small implantable aortic thermocouples inserted via the femoral artery at the time of placement of other chronic indwelling catheters. Data are presented to validate the accurary and reproducibility of the technique by acute in situ comparison with electromagnetic flowmeter measurements. Responses in chronically instrumented rats were tested with hemorrhage and infusions of vasodilator and vasoconstrictor agents administered repeatedly over a period of 9 days. The results show that the system is capable of measuring CO chronically and provides reproducible responses for periods of at least several weeks. We conclude that these methods provide a single, inexpensive, and accurate way to measure steady-state CO in conscious, unrestrained rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1365-H1372
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 (20/6)
StatePublished - 1986


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