In vivo comparison of atherosclerotic plaque progression with vessel wall strain and blood flow velocity in apoE-/ mice with MR microscopy at 17.6 T

Volker Herold, Jeremy Wellen, Christian H. Ziener, Thomas Weber, Karl Heinz Hiller, Peter Nordbeck, Eberhard Rommel, Axel Haase, Wolfgang R. Bauer, Peter M. Jakob, Susanta K. Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object: At present, in vivo plaque characterization in mice by MRI is typically limited to the visualization of vascular lesions with no accompanying analysis of vessel wall function. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of atherosclerotic plaque development on the morphological and mechanical characteristics of the aortic vessel wall in a pre-clinical murine model of atherosclerosis. Materials and methods: Groups of apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) and C57BL/6J control mice fed a high-fat diet were monitored over a 12-week time period by high-field MRI. Multi-Slice-Multi-Spin-Echo and Phase-Contrast MRI sequences were employed to track changes to aortic vessel wall area, blood flow velocity and distensibility. Results: After 6- and 12-weeks, significant changes in vessel wall area and circumferential strain were detected in the apoE-/- mice relative to the control animals. Blood flow velocity and intravascular lumen remained unchanged in both groups, findings that are in agreement with the theory of positive remodeling of the ascending aorta during plaque progression. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated the application of high-field MRI for characterizing the temporal progression of morphological and mechanical changes to murine aortic vasculature associated with atherosclerotic lesion development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ApoE-/- mice
  • Blood flow velocity
  • MRI
  • Vessel wall strain

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