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European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1871–1881 | Cite as

MR relaxometry and perfusion of the myocardium in spontaneously hypertensive rat: correlation with histopathology and effect of anti-hypertensive therapy

  • Jérôme CaudronEmail author
  • Paul Mulder
  • Lionel Nicol
  • Vincent Richard
  • Christian Thuillez
  • Jean-Nicolas Dacher
Experimental

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate myocardial relaxation times and perfusion values in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) at various stages of the disease, with or without anti-fibrotic therapy, and to correlate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings with histopathological myocardial fibrosis and capillary density.

Methods

Five groups of rats underwent MRI at 4.7 T. They were either untreated or treated with an aldosterone-synthase inhibitor. T1, T2 and T2* relaxation times were determined and myocardial perfusion was quantified from an arterial spin labelling sequence. MR relaxation times and perfusion values were compared with the fibrotic content and capillary density of the myocardium obtained at histology after euthanasia.

Results

T1 values significantly increased during the course of hypertensive disease, and correlated with myocardial fibrosis (R = 0.71, P < 0.001); T2 values also increased but were weakly correlated with myocardial fibrosis (R = 0.27,P = 0.047). Myocardial perfusion and capillary density significantly decreased with hypertensive disease but they did not correlate. Following prolonged treatment, we observed a trend associating T1 decrease and improved perfusion compared with untreated SHRs.

Conclusions

Myocardial T1 and T2 values increase with hypertensive disease, whereas myocardial perfusion decreases. The correlation between T1 values and collagen density suggests that the former could be considered as a non-invasive marker of myocardial fibrosis.

Key Points

MR is increasingly used to assess alteration in myocardial tissue content.

MR relaxometry and perfusion can be assessed in rats without exogenous contrast agents.

Myocardial T1 and T2 values significantly increase during the course of hypertensive heart disease.

T1 values correlate significantly with myocardial collagen content.

Myocardial perfusion values decrease with hypertensive disease.

Keywords

Cardiac MRI Myocardial fibrosis MR relaxometry Arterial spin labelling Spontaneously hypertensive rat 

Abbreviations

ASL

Arterial spin labelling

CMR

Cardiac magnetic resonance

HF

Heart failure

LGE

Late gadolinium enhancement

LV

Left ventricle

SHR

Spontaneously hypertensive rat

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work received a research award from the Société Française de Radiologie, 2011 Annual Meeting

This work was presented as a scientific presentation during the 2011 RSNA Annual Meeting (SSK03-03).

The authors are grateful to Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (East Hanover, New Jersey, USA) that provided the aldosterone synthase inhibitor FAD286 used in the present study.

Supported by a research grant, “Médaille d’Or des Hôpitaux de Rouen”.

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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérôme Caudron
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Paul Mulder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lionel Nicol
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vincent Richard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Thuillez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Nicolas Dacher
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Inserm U1096RouenFrance
  2. 2.Institute for Research and Innovation in BiomedicineUniversity of RouenRouenFrance
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyRouen University HospitalRouenFrance

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