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The effect of a calcium channel blocker (verapamil) on cardiovascular parameters and body temperature in telmetered rats. (Vivonics data).  

Vivonics Preclinical Ltd,BioCity Nottingham
Pennyfoot Street
​United Kingdom


Vivonics has recently added rodent telemetry to its services.  Telemetry in conscious, unrestrained animals is the recommended method for regulatory cardiovascular safety pharmacology assessments in large animal species. Many companies also now employ telemetry in small animals during the early stages of drug development, before a candidate is selected. This can provide valuable information on the safety risks that may be associated with the target mechanism or the molecule, informing early decision making.

The rat is the species of choice for early cardiovascular telemetry investigations since it has blood pressure values much like those in humans and has been shown to respond similarly to a variety of cardiotoxins. Compound requirement is low due to their small size and doses can be administered using standard routes.

Typical studies assess the effects of test compound on arterial blood pressure, heart rate and ECG. The rat is not suitable for
QT assessments due to low amounts of hERG in the heart in this species but other ECG parameters (e.g. PR interval, QRS duration) are measured. QA interval has been shown to correlate with left ventricular pressure measurements in rats (Adeyemi et al., 2009) and is also measured to assess the potential effects of test compounds on cardiac contractility. The telemetry implants used also measure body temperature and activity. 

Data is usually recorded for up to 24h following dosing.  Using appropriate data summarising techniques, rodent telemetry studies have been shown to have the sensitivity to detect subtle but clinically relevant changes in cardiovascular parameters
(Bhatt et al., 2016).  

Our rats are socially housed during telemetry studies with companion animals.  We have recently refined our procedures to allow the animals more vertical space.  This project was highlighted by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research and is now a full publication (Skinner et al., 2019).