Publication Date



Comparative Medicine


This report describes an anesthesia technique that we used to study cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in 46 African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) (n = 24 for electrocardiography and n = 22 for CMR). For administration of anesthesia, 3 holding tanks, one each for transportation, sedation, and recovery, were filled with filtered water, with 0.05% buffered tricaine methasulfonate solution (MS-222) added into the sedation tank. Fifteen minutes after the frog was placed in the sedation tank, a paper towel was soaked in MS-222 solution, and the frog was placed in a supine position and rolled 3 to 4 times in the soaked paper with the head and legs exposed. Vital signs were monitored and recorded throughout the procedure. After imagining, frogs were unrolled from the paper towel, placed in the recovery tank, and later returned to their home tank. Monitoring was discontinued when the frogs resumed typical activity. No mortality or complications were observed in frogs that underwent this procedure. Mean duration ± 1 SD of anesthesia induction was 12 ± 5 min in the echocardiography group and 14 ± 6 min in the CMR group. The mean duration of anesthesia maintenance was 60 ± 18 min in the echocardiography group and 118 ± 37 min in the CMR group. An additional dose of anesthesia was necessary during maintenance for 9 of 24 (37%) frogs in the echocardiography group and 6 of 22 (27%) frogs in the CMR group. At the end of the procedure, the mean oxygen saturation was 66 ± 9% in the echocardiography group and 85 ± 6% in the CMR group, and heart rate was 48 ± 13 beats/min in the echocardiography group and 42 ± 7 beats/min in the CMR group. We conclude that the anesthesia technique of immersion in MS-222 is suitable for performing echocardiography and CMR imaging in this species without complications.


Anesthesia, Echocardiography, Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Single Ventricle, Tricaine, Xenopus laevis



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.