Detection of myocardial fibrosis using MRI in rat model



Year of publication 2021
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Description Myocardial fibrosis is a clinically important part of cardiac remodelling. It may lead to heart failure and potentially to death. The pathogenesis and management of myocardial fibrosis are intensively studied on both clinical and preclinical levels. The key point in the management is the early detection of fibrosis. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) is – beside endomyocardial biopsy – a standard method for diagnosis and quantification of myocardial fibrosis. The present project is focused on the validation of cMRI methods for quantification of myocardial fibrosis in the DOCA-salt rat model. Sprague-Dawley rats (6 weeks old) were randomly divided into 2 groups: fibrosis (FIB) and control (CON). In order to induce myocardial fibrosis in the FIB group, unilateral nephrectomy was performed, followed by deoxycorticosterone acetate administration (DOCA; Sigma-Aldrich, USA; 20 mg/week, s.c.) and daily increased intake of NaCl/KCl (0.9% NaCl + 0.3% KCl, p.o. in drinking water) for 3 weeks. In the control group, the sham operation was followed by vehiculum administration (peanut oil; Sigma-Aldrich, USA; 0.2 mL/week s.c.) and no salt supplementation. All rats were scanned using a 9.4T NMR scanner (Bruker Biospin MRI, Ettlingen, Germany) a day before and 14 and 28 days after the surgery with standard anatomical-imaging methods (for quantification of end-systolic, end-diastolic and myocardial volumes and ejection fraction) and with novel cMRI methods developed for quantification of pre- and post-contrast T1 relaxation times and fractional extracellular volume. At the end of the experiments, the myocardial tissue was harvested for histology. The obtained results reflected the expected development of fibrosis in a consistent way. This provides a basis for our follow-up experiments to study cardiac toxicity of selected treatments relevant to clinical applications.
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