Theranostics 2014; 4(1):24-35. doi:10.7150/thno.7188

Research Paper

Towards Stratifying Ischemic Components by Cardiac MRI and Multifunctional Stainings in a Rabbit Model of Myocardial Infarction

Yuanbo Feng1, Feng Chen1, Zhanlong Ma2, Frederik Dekeyzer1, Jie Yu1, Yi Xie3, Marlein Miranda Cona1, Raymond Oyen1, Yicheng Ni1✉

1. KU Leuven, Department of Imaging and Pathology, Theragnostic Laboratory, Radiology Section, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
2. Departments of Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, China
3. Departments of Electronics and Information System (ELIS), Ghent University, Belgium


Objectives: We sought to identify critical components of myocardial infarction (MI) including area at risk (AAR), MI-core and salvageable zone (SZ) by using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) and multifunctional stainings in rabbits.

Materials and Methods: Fifteen rabbits received 90-min coronary artery (CA) ligation and reopening to induce reperfused MI. First-pass perfusion weighted imaging (PWI90') was performed immediately before CA reperfusion. Necrosis avid dye Evans blue (EB) was intravenously injected for later MI-core detection. One-day later, cMRI with T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), PWI24h and delayed enhancement (DE) T1WI was performed at a 3.0T clinical scanner. The heart was excised and CA was re-ligated with aorta infused by red-iodized-oil (RIO). The heart was sliced into 3-mm sections for digital radiography (DR), histology and planimetry with myocardial salvage index (MSI) and perfusion density rate (PDR) calculated.

Results: There was no significant difference between MI-cores defined by DE-T1WI and EB-staining (31.13±8.55% vs 29.80±7.97%; p=0.74). The AAR was defined similarly by PWI90' (39.93±9.51%), RIO (38.82±14.41%) and DR (38.17±15.98%), underestimated by PWI24h (36.44±5.31%), but overestimated (p<0.01) by T2WI (56.93±8.87%). Corresponding MSI turned out to be 24.17±9.5% (PWI90'), 21.97±9.41% (DR) and 22.68±9.65% (RIO), which were significantly (p<0.01) higher and lower than that with PWI24h (15.15±7.34%) and T2WI (45.52±7.5%) respectively. The PDR differed significantly (p<0.001) between normal myocardium (350.6±33.1%) and the AAR (31.2±15%), suggesting 11-times greater blood perfusion in normal myocardium over the AAR.

Conclusion: The introduced rabbit platform and new staining techniques together with the use of a 3.0T clinical scanner for cMRI enabled visualization of MI components and may contribute to translational cardiac imaging research for improved theranostic management of ischemic heart disease.

Keywords: area at risk, myocardial infarction, rabbits, MRI, Evans blue

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How to cite this article:
Feng Y, Chen F, Ma Z, Dekeyzer F, Yu J, Xie Y, Cona MM, Oyen R, Ni Y. Towards Stratifying Ischemic Components by Cardiac MRI and Multifunctional Stainings in a Rabbit Model of Myocardial Infarction. Theranostics 2014; 4(1):24-35. doi:10.7150/thno.7188. Available from