SOP/Guidelines for Animal Ultrasound Imaging Studies at BRIC-Small Animal Imaging Facility

Effective date: June 1st, 2008
Update date: July 24, 2009

I. Purpose: The guidelines provide investigators with general information on animal imaging studies using our small animal ultrasound system at the BRIC- Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF).

II. Responsibilities and Scope:

  1. All investigators involved in performing animal ultrasound imaging must familiarize themselves with this SOP.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Principle Investigators to provide the SAIF with the following documents prior to the first imaging session:
    • SAIF Project Proposal Form
    • Approved Animal Protocol (including any amendments)
    • UNC Account Number for billing purposes
  3. It is the responsibility of the PIs to follow the SOP for the Animal Transportation Regulations established by UNC IACUC.
  4. It is the responsibility of the PIs to arrive at the imaging facility preferably before the scheduled time. In the event that a user is late or does not show up, he/she will still be charged for the scheduled time unless cancellation is informed at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled studies.
  5. It is the responsibility of the PIs to inform SAIF staffs any specific requests for imaging, including animal anesthesia, specific positioning, and imaging quality.

III. General Procedures:

  1. Prior to the imaging study, the investigator must sign up for a time slot to use the ultrasound instrument.
  2. The investigator needs to bring the animals to the SAIF ultrasound facility before or at the scheduled time.
  3. Weigh the animal, and place it in an induction chamber with a short 3% Isoflurane/oxygen mixture gas induction. Once general anesthesia is induced, remove the animal from the induction chamber, and place it on the animal imaging stage. A nose cone will be attached to supply isoflurane anesthesia (~1.5% Isoflurane for mouse, 2% for rat).
  4. Several vital sign monitoring probes, such as temperature and ECG probes, will be placed and connected to the monitor module.
  5. Perform ultrasound scanning using a proper probe.
  6. For contrast enhanced scanning, the contrast agent (micro-bubble) will be prepared according to the instruction. The contrast solution will be administered through tail vein catheter (24”G for rat and 27”G for mouse). Ultrasound scanning can be started slightly before and continued after the injection for designed time range.
  7. After imaging, remove all electrodes/probes and tape from the animal. Turn off the anesthesia; remove the animal from the nose cone. Monitor the animal’s recovery from anesthesia. Once the animals recover from anesthesia, put it back to the cage.
  8. After the experiment is complete the scanner needs to be cleaned. All surfaces that come into contact with the animal will be wiped down with diluted Roccal (provided in each imaging room). Also wipe down any vital signs monitoring probes that contact with the animal.
  9. Make sure the gas and isoflurane machine is turned off.