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Toxicol Pathol. 2014 Mar 26;42(4):784-791. [Epub ahead of print]

Hemodynamic Correlates of Drug-induced Vascular Injury in the Rat Using High-frequency Ultrasound Imaging.

Author information

  • 1Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut, USA.
  • 2FUJIFILM VisualSonics, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 3Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Andover, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 4Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Groton, Connecticut, USA bradley.e.enerson@pfizer.com.


Several classes of drugs have been shown to cause drug-induced vascular injury (DIVI) in preclinical toxicity studies. Measurement of blood flow and vessel diameter in numerous vessels and across various tissues by ultrasound imaging has the potential to be a noninvasive translatable biomarker of DIVI. Our objective was to demonstrate the utility of high-frequency ultrasound imaging for measuring changes in vascular function by evaluating blood flow and vessel diameter in the superior mesenteric arteries (SMA) of rats treated with compounds that are known to cause DIVI and are known vasodilators in rat: fenoldopam, CI-1044, and SK&F 95654. Blood flow, vessel diameter, and other parameters were measured in the SMA at 4, 8, and 24 hr after dosing. Mild to moderate perivascular accumulations of mononuclear cells, neutrophils in tunica adventitia, and superficial tunica media as well as multifocal hemorrhage and necrosis in the tunica media were found in animals 24 hr after treatment with fenoldopam and SK&F 95654. Each compound caused marked increases in blood flow and shear stress as early as 4 hr after dosing. These results suggest that ultrasound imaging may constitute a functional correlate for the microscopic finding of DIVI in the rat.

© 2014 by The Author(s).


CI-1044; SK&F 95654; biomarker; drug-induced vascular injury; fenoldopam.; high-frequency ultrasound imaging

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