Aortic aneurysms and dissections are life-threatening conditions that have a high risk for lethal bleeding and organ malperfusion. Many studies have investigated the molecular basis of these diseases using mouse models. In mice, ex vivo, in situ, and ultrasound imaging are major approaches to evaluate aortic diameters, a common parameter to determine the severity of aortic aneurysms. However, accurate evaluations of aortic dimensions by these imaging approaches could be challenging due to pathological features of aortic aneurysms. Currently, there is no standardized mode to assess aortic dissections in mice. It is important to understand the characteristics of each approach for reliable evaluation of aortic dilatations. In this review, we summarize imaging techniques used for aortic visualization in recent mouse studies and discuss their pros and cons. We also provide suggestions to facilitate the visualization of mouse aortas.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Biomolecules, v. 12, issue 2, 339.

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The authors’ aortic aneurysm-related research work is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R35HL155649) and the American Heart Association SFRN in Vascular Disease (18SFRN33900001). The content in this commentary is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.