Synchrotron radiation (SR) is increasingly being used for micro-level and nano-level functional imaging in in vivo animal experiments. This review focuses on the methodology that enables repeated and regional assessment of vessel internal diameter and flow in the resistance vessels of different organ systems. In particular, SR absorption microangiography approaches offer unique opportunities for real-time in vivo vascular imaging in small animals, even during dynamic motion of the heart and lungs. We also describe recent progress in the translation of multiple phase-contrast imaging techniques from ex vivo to in vivo small-animal studies. Furthermore, we also review the utility of SR for multiple pinpoint (dimensions 0.2x0.2 mm) assessments of myocardial function at the cross-bridge level in different regions of the heart using small-angle X-ray scattering, resulting from increases in SR flux at modern facilities. Finally, we present cases for the use of complementary SR approaches to study cardiovascular function, particularly the pathological changes associated with disease using small-animal models.