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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;771:439-56. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-219-9_23.

MR for the investigation of murine vasculature.

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Institut für Herz-und Kreislaufphysiologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The investigation of alterations in vessel morphology of transgenic mouse models generally requires time-consuming and laborious planimetry of histological sections. This postmortem analysis is per se restricted to endpoint studies and, furthermore, may reflect the situation in vivo to a limited degree only. For the repetitive and noninvasive monitoring of dynamic changes in the murine vasculature, several protocols for high-resolution 3D MR angiography (MRA) at a vertical 9.4 T system are described. These protocols are based on flow-compensated 3D gradient echo sequences with application-dependent spatial resolution, resulting in voxel sizes between 1 and 13 nL. To ensure constant physiological conditions, particular attention is paid to minimize the acquisition time. All measurements are carried out without a contrast agent to avoid temporal inconstancy of the contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR) as well as toxic side effects. Moreover, metabolic alterations as a consequence of disturbed vascularization and blood supply are monitored by (31)P MR spectroscopy.

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