The forced swimming test in rats is an acceptable alternative to treadmill exercise in the assessment of heart failure. It can be performed in any laboratory without the need for expensive equipment. The end-point of the test is exhaustion of the animal, manifested as near-drowning, necessitating its rescue by the operator.
The major advantage of forced swimming in rats lies within the simplicity of the test. However, it depends on neuropsychiatric factors. The value of the test is increased when only actual swimming duration is recorded.
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