Transverse aortic constriction (TAC) is an effective technique for inducing left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy in mice. With the use of transthoracic echocardiography and Doppler measurements, we studied the effects of an acute increase in pressure overload on LV contractile performance and peak systolic wall stress index (WSI) at early time points after TAC and the time course of the development of LV hypertrophy in mice. The LV mass index was similar between TAC and sham-operated mice at postoperative day 1 but progressively increased in TAC mice by day 10. There was no further increase in the LV mass index between postoperative days 10 and 20. On day 1, whereas peak systolic WSI increased significantly, the LV ejection fraction (LVEF) and percent fractional shortening (%FS) decreased in TAC mice compared with sham-operated mice. By day 10, peak systolic WSI, LVEF, and %FS had recovered to baseline levels and were not significantly different between postoperative days 10 and 20. Thus LV systolic performance in mice declines immediately after TAC, associated with increased peak systolic WSI, but recovers to baseline levels with the development of compensatory LV hypertrophy over 10-20 days.