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Eur J Echocardiogr. 2010 Sep;11(8):659-64. doi: 10.1093/ejechocard/jeq048. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for imaging vasa vasorum: comparison with histopathology in a swine model of atherosclerosis.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Cardiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA. a.schinkel@erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate the agreement between contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging and histopathology in an animal model of atherosclerosis.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Atherosclerosis was studied in both femoral arteries of four Rapacz familial hypercholesterolaemia (RFH) swine. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of the eight femoral arteries was performed at baseline and at 5, 12, 26, and 43 weeks follow-up after percutaneous transluminal stimulation of atherosclerosis to assess the progression of intima-media thickness (IMT) and the density and extent of the vasa vasorum network. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging allowed an early detection of atherosclerosis and showed a significant gradual progression of atherosclerosis over time. IMT increased from 0.22 +/- 0.05 mm at baseline to 0.45 +/- 0.06 mm (P < 0.001) at follow-up. The density of the vasa vasorum network increased during follow-up and was significantly higher in advanced than in early atherosclerosis. The findings with contrast-enhanced ultrasound were confirmed by histopathological specimens of the arterial wall.

CONCLUSION:

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound is effective for in vivo detection of vasa vasorum in atherosclerotic plaques in the RFH swine model. After stimulation of atherosclerosis, contrast-enhanced ultrasound demonstrated a significantly increased IMT and significantly increased density of the vasa vasorum network in the developing atherosclerotic plaque, which was validated by histology.

PMID:
20385655
DOI:
10.1093/ejechocard/jeq048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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