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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2005 Jun;31(6):745-9.

Noninvasive measurement of abdominal aortic aneurysms in intact mice by a high-frequency ultrasound imaging system.

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1
Berlex Biosciences, Richmond, CA 94804, USA.

Abstract

Mouse models of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) have been commonly used in many laboratories for studying molecular mechanisms of AAA formation and development, as well as for testing novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of AAA. However, because of the small size of the animal, the quantification and characterization of AAA development and progress is difficult, time-consuming and requires the sacrifice of the experimental animals. We report here a noninvasive method to detect and measure AAA in mice using a high-frequency ultrasound (US) imaging system specifically designed for microimaging of the mice (Vevo 660; VisualSonics, Toronto, ONT, Canada). A total of 21 male apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice were chronically infused with angiotensin II (1.44 mg/kg daily) for 28 days to induce AAA formation. A 2-D echo image of the abdominal aorta was acquired at longitudinal and transverse planes, followed immediately by post mortem dissection of the abdominal aorta for direct measurements. The US images clearly showed a bulge-like expansion localized specifically in the suprarenal region of the abdominal aorta, with a shape strikingly similar to that of the aorta dissected post mortem. In addition, the US images can also provide measurements of the luminal diameter and wall thickness of the abdominal aorta. The average dimensions of the abdominal aorta were not significantly different between the US and post mortem measurements, nor between the transverse and longitudinal US images. The different types of the measurements are also highly correlated with each other, with a linear correlation (r) between 0.7 and 0.9. Thus, we have established and validated a novel application to noninvasively measure AAA development and progress in a mouse model using a high-frequency US imaging system that has the advantages of low cost, rapid imaging speed, reproducibility and high resolution, and makes repeated monitoring of the progress of AAA development over a time-course possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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