Minimally invasive transverse aortic constriction in mice

Aung Moe Zaw, Connor M. Williams, Ka Wai Helen Law, Billy Kwok Chong Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Minimally invasive transverse aortic constriction (MTAC) is a more desirable method for the constriction of the transverse aorta in mice than standard open-chest transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Although transverse aortic constriction is a highly functional method for the induction of high pressure in the left ventricle, it is a more difficult and lengthy procedure due to its use of artificial ventilation with tracheal intubation. TAC is oftentimes also less survivable, as the newer method, MTAC, neither requires the cutting of the ribs and intercostal muscles nor tracheal intubation with a ventilation setup. In MTAC, as opposed to a thoracotomy to access to the chest cavity, the aortic arch is reached through a midline incision in the anterior neck. The thyroid is pulled back to reveal the sternal notch. The sternum is subsequently cut down to the second rib level, and the aortic arch is reached simply by separating the connective tissues and thymus. From there, a suture can be wrapped around the arch and tied with a spacer, and then the sternal cut and skin can be closed. MTAC is a much faster and less invasive way to induce left ventricular hypertension and enables the possibility for high-throughput studies. The success of the constriction can be verified using highfrequency trans-thoracic echocardiography, particularly color Doppler and pulsed-wave Doppler, to determine the flow velocities of the aortic arch and left and right carotid arteries, the dimension of the blood vessels, and the left ventricular function and morphology. A successful constriction will also trigger significant histopathological changes, such as cardiac muscle cell hypertrophy with interstitial and perivascular fibrosis. Here, the procedure of MTAC is described, demonstrating how the resulting flow changes in the carotid arteries can be examined with echocardiography, gross morphology, and histopathological changes in the heart.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55293
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number121
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2017


  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Doppler imaging
  • Echocardiography
  • Fibrosis
  • Issue 121
  • Medicine
  • Minimal
  • Mouse model
  • Transverse aortic banding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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