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Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2008 Jan;24(1):37-44. Epub 2007 May 15.

Intravascular imaging of atherosclerotic human coronaries in a porcine model: a feasibility study.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and the Center for Translational Cardiovascular Research, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. sergio.waxman@lahey.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To perform intravascular imaging of atherosclerotic human coronary conduits in an animal model under conditions of flow and cardiac motion that approximate those encountered in vivo.

BACKGROUND:

Given the lack of animal models of vulnerable plaque, a model which would allow imaging of human disease and simulate coronary motion and blood flow could advance the development of emerging technologies to detect vulnerable plaques.

METHODS:

Human coronary segments from adult cadaver hearts were prepared as xenografts. In anesthetized Yorkshire pigs (45-50 kg) the chest was opened and the exposed aorta and right atrium were cannulated and attached in an end-to-end fashion to the human coronary xenograft, forming an aorto-atrial conduit. The xenograft was fixed to the anterior wall of the heart to simulate motion. Angiography and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) of each graft were performed.

RESULTS:

Twelve human coronary grafts (10 from right coronary segments) were prepared and implanted successfully in seven animals. All animals tolerated the procedure. The average graft length was 39 +/- 2.3 mm. Blood flow rates distal to the graft were >100 ml/min in nine grafts. IVUS was performed in all 12 grafts and documented expansion of arterial (6.9%) and luminal (9.3%) dimensions during the cardiac cycle (P < 0.001 for both). There was a wide range of coronary atherosclerotic pathology within the grafts, including intimal thickening, fibrocalcific plaque, and deep lipid pools.

CONCLUSION:

This human-to-porcine coronary xenograft model allows intravascular imaging of human coronary pathology under conditions of blood flow and motion, and may be used to develop technologies aimed at identifying high-risk plaques.

PMID:
17503218
DOI:
10.1007/s10554-007-9227-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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