, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 427-434
Date: 25 Nov 2009

Myocardial Perfusion Imaging is Feasible for Infarct Size Quantification in Mice Using a Clinical Single-photon Emission Computed Tomography System Equipped with Pinhole Collimators

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The aim of this study is to evaluate a non-invasive method for measuring myocardial perfusion defect size in mice using a clinical single-photon emission computed tomography system equipped with pinhole collimators (pinhole SPECT).

Materials and Methods

Thirty days after ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, 13 mice (C57BL/6J) were imaged following intravenous injection of 370 MBq [99mTc]sestamibi. Eight control mice without myocardial infarction were likewise investigated. Image quality optimization had been achieved by repeated scanning of a multiple point phantom, with varying zoom factors, number of projection angles, and pinhole diameter. Volumetric sampling was used to generate polar maps, in which intensity was normalized to that of a standard septal region of interest (ROI), which was set at 100%. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed to define an optimal threshold as compared to histologically measured defect sizes, which were considered as gold standard.


A spatial resolution of 1.9 mm was achieved using a pinhole diameter of 0.5 mm, a zoom factor of 2, and 6° projection angles. Histological results were best reproduced by a 60% threshold relative to the septal reference ROI. By applying this threshold, SPECT perfusion defect sizes revealed very high correlation to the histological results (R 2 = 0.867) with excellent intra- and interobserver reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.84 and 0.82).


We achieved a spatial resolution of 1.9 mm in myocardial perfusion imaging in mice using a clinical SPECT system mounted with pinhole collimators. Compared to a histological gold standard, the infarct sizes were accurately estimated, indicating that this method shows promise to monitor experimental cardiac interventions in mice.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11307-009-0297-x