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New Findings: • What is the topic of this review? This report reviews the current literature on non-invasive in vivo methodologies for the assessment of cardiac energetics in the mouse. • What advances does it highlight? Example applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy are discussed, including suggestions for how this approach can be advanced. The energetic requirements of the heart are, weight for weight, higher than for any other organ. The heart provides non-stop function for a lifetime, while maintaining energy in reserve in order to respond to increased demand. This demand is met by continuously recycling a relatively small pool of ATP, with the creatine kinase (CK) system acting as a spatial and temporal buffer. In the failing heart, key components of this system are downregulated, but whether these energetic changes are biomarkers or drivers of dysfunction and whether they represent therapeutic targets are the subjects of ongoing research. Key methodologies are now becoming available in vivo to help address these questions in mouse models, such as 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect high-energy phosphates and 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect total creatine. This report briefly discusses the challenges involved in using these technologies, the application and pitfalls of murine surgical models of heart failure, and how this has contributed to our understanding of pathophysiology in recent years. © 2012 The Physiological Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Experimental Physiology

Publication Date





601 - 605