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Open Access Left Ventricular Hypertrophy is Prevalent in Sprague–Dawley Rats

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Unrecognized cardiovascular abnormalities may confound the interpretation of research data collected using rats. However, although SPF rat colonies are screened for microbes and kept under standardized environmental conditions, their cardiovascular status is largely unknown. We recently performed surgery on anesthetized 80-d-old Sprague–Dawley rats and observed a high mortality that could not be attributed to the procedures or preceding treatments. Upon necropsy, cardiomyopathy was readily apparent in a substantial proportion of these rats. To further evaluate the nature of this condition, we evaluated the histology and morphology of hearts from both Sprague–Dawley and Lewis rats. Compared with Lewis rats, Sprague–Dawley rats had greater left ventricular wall thickness and larger cardiomyocyte cell size. Severe left ventricle hypertrophy was present in 38% of young adult Sprague–Dawley rats. These findings may have implications for research models that use Sprague–Dawley rats.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. 2: Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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