High-frequency ultrasonographic imaging of avian cardiovascular development

Authors

  • Tim C. McQuinn,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    2. Pediatric Cardiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    • Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 601, Charleston, SC 29425
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Momka Bratoeva,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Angela DeAlmeida,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mathieu Remond,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robert P. Thompson,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Sedmera

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    2. Institute of Anatomy, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
    3. Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The chick embryo has long been a favorite model system for morphologic and physiologic studies of the developing heart, largely because of its easy visualization and amenability to experimental manipulations. However, this advantage is diminished after 5 days of incubation, when rapidly growing chorioallantoic membranes reduce visibility of the embryo. Using high-frequency ultrasound, we show that chick embryonic cardiovascular structures can be readily visualized throughout the period of Stages 9–39. At most stages of development, a simple ex ovo culture technique provided the best imaging opportunities. We have measured cardiac and vascular structures, blood flow velocities, and calculated ventricular volumes as early as Stage 11 with values comparable to those previously obtained using video microscopy. The endocardial and myocardial layers of the pre-septated heart are readily seen as well as the acellular layer of the cardiac jelly. Ventricular inflow in the pre-septated heart is biphasic, just as in the mature heart, and is converted to a monophasic (outflow) wave by ventricular contraction. Although blood has soft-tissue density at the ultrasound resolutions and developmental stages examined, its movement allowed easy discrimination of perfused vascular structures throughout the embryo. The utility of such imaging was demonstrated by documenting changes in blood flow patterns after experimental conotruncal banding. Developmental Dynamics 236:3503–3513, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary