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Mad Science 2006 : Normal blood pressure varies between different strains of rats


Scientists at the London Imperial College of Medicine took part in a study to measure blood pressure in two different strains of rats. Sixteen animals were anaesthetised and the major artery in their necks was surgically manipulated to simplify the taking of blood pressure measurements. Twenty-four hours later, the rats were injected with various drugs that either raised or lowered their blood pressure. They were then subjected to hundreds of measurements, which were taken by applying a cuff on the neck and another around the tail.

The authors concluded that taking blood pressure measurement in rats is prone to many errors because of the effects of stress, heat and being forcibly held. In addition, normal blood pressure varies between different strains of rats.

This study was part-funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Ref. Ibrahim J, Berk BC, Hughes AD. Clinical and Experimental Hypertension2006; 28:57-72. ‘Comparison of simultaneous measurements of blood pressure by tail-cuff and carotid arterial methods in conscious Spontaneously Hypertensive and Wistar-Kyoto rats (conducted in the USA).’

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