We are sometimes asked why training the mice and rats is necessary with the BP‑2000, and what it consists of.
The BP-2000 is a tail-cuff instrument, which means an occlusion cuff is placed on the animal’s tail for measurements. A typical measurement session consists of placing the animal on the instrument, with the cuff around their tail, and with the animal itself inside a holder or restrainer.
Then the software starts making automatic BP measurements. Each measurement takes about 45 seconds (approximately), and typically 15 or 20 measurements are taken. The software stores the results of each individual measurement, and also the statistics for the 15 or 20 measurements that comprise the measurement set. Waveforms are also stored, so you can review them later.
Normally, on the first day of measurements the rats or mice are very nervous, as they are enclosed in a restrainer, and have a cuff squeezing on their tail. Thus the BP measurements the first day are almost always high, and erratic. The second day the animals are more accustomed to the process, so the BP values tend to be better, with a smaller standard deviation. By the third day the results are usually getting good. This several day period comprises the “training period.”
Some animals – or types of animals – require only a day of training. But three days is more typical.
How do you know when the animals are adequately trained? The animals have become trained when the BP values are about as expected, and not too high, and the standard deviations of the measurement sets are not large, indicating repeatable measurements.
For additional information on how to get the best blood pressure measurements, please see the document BP-2000 Protocol.