Volume 13 Supplement 1
Equilibrium contrast CMR for the detection of amyloidosis in mice
© Campbell et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Published: 2 February 2011
In this study, we optimise equilibrium contrast CMR (EQ-CMR) protocols in mice and apply EQ-CMR to detect AA amyloidosis in the heart and liver of mice with inducible transgenic overexpression of serum amyloid A protein.
Systematic amyloidosis is a severe, diagnostically challenging, disorder characterised by the extracellular deposition of insoluble abnormal protein fibrils . Recently, Flett et al  showed that the volume of distribution of gadolinium (Gd) contrast agents, calculated by EQ-CMR, can be used to measure fibrosis. This technique uses the extracellular nature of Gd to relate the volume of distribution of the agent (Vd) to extracellular pathology.
Nine control and 11 amyloidotic mice  (confirmed by histology to have major amyloid deposits in the liver and minor deposits in the heart) were imaged using a standard cine stack and EQ-CMR. A mid-ventricle short-axis slice through the heart, which included a section of liver was used. The hematocrit (Hct) was measured using a blood sample from the tail vein.
An EQ-CMR procedure has been optimised in the mouse. The results of this study show that EQ-CMR techniques can detect minor amyloid deposits with good sensitivity. This approach has the potential to become a sensitive diagnostic tool with considerable utility in serial quantitative monitoring of response to novel therapy aimed at elimination of amyloid deposits [5, 6].
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