Application of ultrasound and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis and evaluation of carotid atherosclerosis in rabbits
Received:September 16, 2020  
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DOI:10. 3969 / j.issn.1005-4847. 2021. 01. 002
KeyWord:carotid atherosclerosis; ultrasound; high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging; animal model; rabbit Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
徐松涛 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
李嘉颖 浙江中医药大学附属第一医院,医学影像科,杭州
沈利叶 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
郁晨 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
徐雁云 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
潘永明 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
孙志超 浙江中医药大学附属第一医院,医学影像科,杭州
陈民利 浙江中医药大学动物实验研究中心/ 比较医学研究所,国家中医药管理局实验动物三级实验室,杭州
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       Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of ultrasound and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) in a rabbit carotid atherosclerosis (AS) model, providing technical method for the diagnosis and evaluation of preclinical atherosclerotic plaques. Methods Eighteen male Japanese white rabbits were randomly divided into two groups (n= 9). The model group was fed a high-cholesterol diet for 2 weeks followed by balloon injury to the right carotid artery. After surgery, high-fat feeding was continued for 6 weeks to establish a rabbit carotid AS model. The NC group was fed regular feed for 8 weeks. At 4 and 8 weeks after modeling, plasma total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride ( TG) levels were measured, and the carotid artery was examined via ultrasound. Carotid HRMRI was performed at 8 weeks. After euthanasia, the right common carotid artery was taken for HE and oil red “O” staining to assess carotid artery atherosclerotic lesions. Results Compared with the findings in the NC group, TC levels were significantly higher in the model group at 4 weeks after modeling, and body weight and TC and TG levels were significantly higher in the model group at 8 weeks. The result of ultrasound revealed that intima-media thickness ( IMT), the stenosis rate, the maximum systolic blood flow velocity, and the vascular resistance index of the right common carotid artery increased significantly in the model group with the deepening of the lesions, and stenosis and plaque formation were observed. In addition, the HIMRI result disclosed obvious stenosis of the right common carotid artery compared with findings in the NC group, and the model group displayed obvious atherosclerotic plaque formation and a significantly higher stenosis rate. Histopathology further confirmed the obvious atherosclerotic plaque formation in the common carotid artery in the model group, and IMT, the stenosis rate, and lipid content were significantly higher in the model group than in the NC group. In addition, correlation analysis demonstrated that the quantitative result of ultrasound, HRMRI, and HE staining were significantly correlated. Conclusions Both ultrasound and HRMRI technology can non-invasively detect and diagnose lesions in a rabbit carotid AS model, but HRMRI can more clearly and intuitively judge the severity of vascular stenosis and atherosclerotic plaques.
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