Magnetic Resonance Imaging Visualization of Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaques at the Brachiocephalic Artery of Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice by the Blood-pool Contrast Agent B22956/1

Cinzia Parolini*, Marco Busnelli, Giulia S Ganzetti, Federica Dellera, Stefano Manzini, Eugenio Scanziani, Jason L Johnson, Cesare R Sirtori, Giulia Chiesa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify, by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the ability of the blood-pool contrast agent B22956/1 to detect atherosclerotic plaques developing at the brachiocephalic artery of apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice and to possibly identify vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions. After high-fat feeding for 8 or 12 weeks, MRIs of brachiocephalic arteries were acquired before and after B22956/1 administration; then vessels were removed and analyzed by histology. B22956/1 injection caused a rapid increase in plaque signal enhancement and plaque to muscle contrast values, which remained stable up to 70 minutes. A linear correlation between signal enhancement and macrophage content was found 10 minutes after B22956/1 injection (p < .01). Signal enhancement and plaque to muscle contrast values correlated with macrophage content 40 minutes after contrast agent administration (p < .01). Finally, 70 minutes after B22956/1 infusion, plaque to muscle contrast significantly correlated with the percentage of stenosis (p < .005). B22956/1 administration to high fat-fed apoE-KO mice resulted in a rapid enhancement of atherosclerotic plaques and in a great ability to rapidly visualize vulnerable plaques, characterized by a high macrophage content. These results suggest that B22956/1 could represent an interesting tool for the identification of atherosclerotic plaques potentially leading to acute cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00012
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Imaging
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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