Increased vascular permeability is a surrogate marker of atherosclerotic plaque instability
© Phinikaridou et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015
Published: 3 February 2015
Hypercholesterolemia promotes endothelial dysfunction and neovascularization, which increase net vascular permeability and promote atherosclerosis. We have previously reported that gadofosveset, a clinically approved albumin-binding MR contrast agent, can be used to assess endothelial permeability, plaque progression/ regression in a murine model of atherosclerosis. Here, we used gadofosveset to investigate the effect of vascular permeability on plaque instability in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis was induced in New Zealand White rabbits by cholesterol-diet and endothelial denudation. In vivo MRI of the abdominal aorta was performed at 1 and 12-weeks using a 3T Philips Achieva scanner and a 32-channel coil. Native and contrast enhanced images were acquired before and 40min after intravenous administration of 0.03 mmol/kg of gadofosveset (Lantheus Medical Imaging, USA). ECG-triggered 2D T1wBB images were acquired before contrast injection with: TR/TE=2heartbeats/5.4ms, low-high profile order, echo-train-length=6, BB-delay=350ms, FOV=120x85mm, matrix=384x270, resolution=0.31x0.31mm, slice thickness=4mm, slices=25 and averages=2. T1 mapping was performed 30 minutes after gadofosveset injection using a 3D modified Lock-Locker sequence with: TR/TE=3.5/1.8ms, FA =10°, FOV=58x45x80mm, matrix=116x97, reconstructed resolution=0.2x0.2mm, slice thickness=3mm, slices=15, averages=1. T1wBB images were used to calculate the plaque area by manually tracing the vessel wall contours using Osirix. T1 mapping images were used to calculate the R1 of the vessel wall on a pixel-by-pixel basis using in house software (Matlab).
Increased vascular permeability measured using an MR albumin-binding contrast agent and T1 mapping is a surrogate measure of plaque progression and instability and can be used to provide stratification of atherosclerotic disease.
British Heart Foundation (PG/10/044/28343).
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