Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is among the most major causes of morbidity and mortality
worldwide. Great progress has been made in the management of CVD which has been influenced by
the use of experimental animal models. These models provided information at cellular and molecular
levels and allowed the development of treatment strategies. CVD models have been developed in
many species, including large animals (e.g. pigs and dogs) and small animals (e.g. rats and mice). Although, no model can
solely reproduce clinical HF, simulations of heart failure (HF) are available to experimentally tackle certain queries not
easily resolved in humans.
Induced HF may also be produced experimentally through myocardial infarction (MI), pressure loading, or volume loading.
Volume loading is useful to look at hormone and electrolyte disturbances, while pressure loading models is helpful to
study ventricular hypertrophy, cellular imbalance and vascular changes in HF. Coronary heart disease is assessed in MI
animal models. In this review we describe various experimental models used to study the pathophysiology of HF.