Title: Development, characterization and applications of a rabbit model of ischemic heart disease with multiparametric imaging biomarkers
Other Titles: Ontwikkeling, karakterisering en toepassingen van een konijnmodel van ischemische hartziekten met multiparametrische imaging biomarkers
Authors: Feng, YuanBo
Issue Date: 11-Oct-2013
Abstract: Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a leading cause of death worldwide, its cardiac and vascularcomplications are complex and multifactorial pathologies, which implicate both genetic andenvironmental factors, thus making them very difficult to prevent. The development of animalmodels of IHD may provide us with necessary insights into the pathophysiology and thesemodels may serve as essential tools to evaluate new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies fordetection, prevention and treatment of these complications and for prediction of prognosis.There have been numerous studies on various animal models to mimic the reduction incoronary artery blood flow leading to abnormal myocardial functions and eventual occurrenceof myocardial infarction (MI). Scientists are in search of magic bullets or drugs that canalleviate coronary symptoms, reduce infarct size and improve the recovery of contractilefunction. These endeavors have confronted significant challenges, since the proper imagingbiomarkers crucial for early detection and progression prediction of the MI are yet poorlyexplored. Owing to its low cost, amazing fertility, and ease of handling and housing, therabbit has been one of the most commonly used experimental animals. However, despite anumber of theoretical advantages including clinically relevant cardiac dimension and heartbeating rate, until recently the rabbit has not been routinely applied in cardiac imagingresearch due to many practical difficulties.To exploit the advantages of using rabbits for cardiac imaging research on IHD and to tacklethe technical obstacles, this doctoral research program was launched, which eventually endsup with this PhD thesis. In chapter 1, we first reviewed the various animal models for theresearch of IHD and their applications for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI). Wefound that the small and larger animal models have more frequently been used over decades,but the medium size animal rabbit has seldom been applied for imaging research on MI. Inchapter 2, we described how we have developed a preclinical cardiac research platform basedon a modified model of acute reperfused MI in rabbits; how the in vivo manifestations ofcMRI could be closely matched with the corresponding ex vivo macroscopic and microscopicfindings. In chapter 3, post-MI lipomatous metaplasia (LM) as a common but hardlyelucidated clinical pathology has been identified in rabbits with chronic MI. In chapter 4,tissue components in rabbits with acute cardiac ischemia have been stratified, characterizedand differentiated by using our newly invented multifunctional stainings. In chapter 5, basedon established rabbit models, we continued exploration of diagnostic potentials of a necrosisavid trace agent and documented the performance of this new tracer both on in vivo and exvivo cardiac imaging. These imaging outcomes could be quantitatively analyzed, validatedand demonstrated. In chapter 6, we exemplified how we could apply this cardiac imagingplatform to provide possible solutions to certain therapeutic problems in the management ofIHD. Finally, in chapter 7, this thesis is concluded by an overview article summarizing thedevelopment, characterization and application of an experimental platform for quantitativecardiac imaging research in rabbit models of MI.Given this newly available preclinical cardiac imaging research platform, today we havereasons to believe that it could become more workable in the future to devise and test morerobust strategies against human cardiovascular diseases.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Radiology
Theragnostic Laboratory (+)
Translational MRI (+)

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