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Invest Radiol. 2008 Jul;43(7):520-9. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3181727519.

Longitudinal follow-up of cardiac structure and functional changes in an infarct mouse model using retrospectively gated micro-computed tomography.

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Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



Mouse models of myocardial infarction are valuable in studying the effect of genetic modifications on structural and functional remodeling of the heart. Our group recently developed a method for acquiring three-dimensional images of the beating mouse heart using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and retrospective gating. In this study, we evaluated cardiac function in sham and infarcted mice longitudinally, using this novel technique.


Thirteen mice (7 sham-operated, 6 infarcted; male, C57BL/6) were imaged at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 postligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Animals were anesthetized with 1.5% isoflurane; mechanical ventilation was not used. Contrast between blood and tissue was provided by an iodinated blood-pool contrast agent (0.01 mL/g Fenestra VC). The cardiac and respiratory waveforms were recorded during the 50-second scan time, to enable retrospective gating. Once scanning was completed on week 4 postsurgery, hemodynamic measurements were performed using a Millar pressure conductance catheter.


There were significant differences in systolic and diastolic volumes, and ejection fraction, between sham and myocardial infarction groups (P < 0.0001). A comparison of ejection fraction derived from both CT and hemodynamic measurements was not significantly different (P > 0.1).


We have demonstrated the first use of dynamic micro-CT for monitoring cardiac remodeling, resulting from myocardial infarction, over time. The fast scan times (<1 minute) and ability to track individual animals over an entire study make this quantitative noninvasive technique a promising tool for in vivo studies of cardiac disease in mouse models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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