Contrast enhancement in atherosclerosis development in a mouse model: In vivo results at 2 Tesla

L. Chaabane, N. Pellet, M. C. Bourdillon, C. Desbleds Mansard, A. Sulaiman, G. Hadour, F. Thivolet-Béjui, P. Roy, A. Briguet, P. Douek, E. Canet Soulas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To develop an MRI method for the evaluation of contrast enhancement in early atherosclerotic plaque development in the abdominal aorta of a mouse model. Male apoE-/- mice from three groups, respectively 4 (n = 6), 8 (n = 11) and 16 (77 = 4) weeks were included. Axial T1 spin echo images of the abdominal aorta were obtained above and below the renal arteries (90 μm spatial resolution) before and over 1 h after the injection of a macromolecular contrast agent. Signal enhancement was measured in the vessel wall and compared to histological features. Maximal arterial wall signal enhancement was obtained from 16 to 32 min post injection. During this time, the signal-to-noise ratio increased by a factor up to 1.7 in 16 week mice and 2.7 and 2.4 in 8 and 4 weeks mice, respectively. The enhancement of the arterial wall appeared less pronounced in the oldest mice, 16 weeks old, exhibiting more advanced lesions. Using a macromolecular gadolinium agent, contrast uptake in atherogenesis varies with lesion stage and may be related to vessel-wall permeability. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI may be useful to evaluate the atherosclerotic plaque activity in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number3-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Apolipoprotein E knockout mice
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Medial remodelling
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Genetics


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