Is My Mouse Pregnant? High-Frequency Ultrasound Assessment

Colin K. L. Phoon, Mindong Ren
Journal of Visualized Experiments2021
The mouse is the mammalian animal model of choice for many human diseases and biological processes. Developmental biology often requires staged-pregnant mice to determine evolving processes at various timepoints. Moreover, optimal and efficient breeding of model mice requires an assessment of timed pregnancies. Most commonly, mice are mated overnight, and the presence of a vaginal plug is determined; however, the positive predictive value of this technique is suboptimal, and one needs to wait to know if the mouse is truly pregnant. High-resolution ultrasound biomicroscopy is an effective and efficient tool for imaging: 1) Whether a mouse is pregnant; 2) What gestational stage the mouse has reached; and 3) Whether there are intrauterine losses. In addition to the embryos and fetuses, the investigator must also recognize common artifacts in the abdominal cavity so as not to mistake these for a gravid uterus. This article provides a protocol for imaging along with illustrative examples

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