PATHOLOGY & ONCOLOGY RESEARCHVol. 10 No. 3, 2004

 Article

Short Term Arterial Remodelling in the Aortae of Cholesterol Fed New Zealand White Rabbits Shown in vivo by High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Implications for Human Pathology

Laszlo HEGYI1, Paul D HOCKINGS5, Martin G BENSON6, Albert L BUSZA5, Philip OVEREND6, David C GRIMSDITCH6, Katherine J BURTON4, Heather LLOYD4, Greg A WHELAN4, Jeremy N SKEPPER2, Martin P VIDGEON-HART6, Adrian T CARPENTER3, David G REID5, Keith E SUCKLING6, Peter L WEISSBERG1

1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
2Multi-Imaging Centre, Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
3Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
4Laboratory Animal Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, The Frythe, United Kingdom
5Imaging Group, GlaxoSmithKline, The Frythe, United Kingdom
6Atherosclerosis Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, United Kingdom

 

High-resolution, non-invasive imaging methods are required to monitor progression and regression of atherosclerotic plaques. We investigated the use of MRI to measure changes in plaque volume and vessel remodelling during progression and regression of atherosclerosis in New Zealand White rabbits. Atherosclerotic lesions were induced in the abdominal aorta by balloon injury and cholesterol feeding. MR images (2D) of the abdominal aorta were acquired with cardiac and respiratory gating using a fast spin echo sequence with and without fat-suppression. In an initial study on rabbits treated for 30 weeks we imaged the aortae with a spatial resolution of 250x250 micrometers with a slice thickness of 2 mm and achieved a close correlation between MRI-derived measurements and those made on perfusion pressure-fixed histological sections (r1= 0.83, slope p1 < 0.01). We subsequently imaged 18 rabbits before and periodically during 12 weeks of cholesterol feeding (progression) followed by 12 weeks on normal diet (regression). Aortic wall (atherosclerotic lesion) volume increased significantly during progression and decreased during regression. In contrast, lumen volume increased during progression and did not change during regression. In conclusion, this study confirms that non-invasive, high-resolution MRI can be used to monitor progression and regression of atherosclerosis, each within 3 months and shows, for the first time in a short-term model, that positive remodelling occurs early during progression and persists through regression of atherosclerotic lesions. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 10, Nr 3, 159-165, 2004

Key words: animal models of human disease; imaging; MRI; atherosclerosis; remodelling


Received: Apr 15, 2004; accepted: Aug 15, 2004
Correspondence: Laszlo HEGYI, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road Cambridge W12 0HS, United Kingdom; Tel: +44-208-3832433, Fax: +44-208-740-7417; E-mail: lhegyi@doctors.org.uk

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