Introduction: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of high-resolution MRI at 2 Tesla (T) for direct noninvasive imaging of the aortic wall in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Material and Methods: A specific mouse antenna was developed and sequence parameters were adjusted. T1- and T2-weighted images of abdominal aorta were obtained at 2 T with a spatial resolution of 86 × 86 × 800 μm3 in vivo. With a dedicated small coil, ex vivo MRI of the aorta was performed with a spatial resolution of 54 × 54 × 520 μm3. Results: In vivo, the aortic wall was clearly defined on T2-weighted images in 15 of 16 mice: along the aorta the lumen circumference ranged from 1.07 to 3.61 mm and mean wall thickness from 0.11 to 0.67 mm. In vivo measurements of plaque distribution were confirmed by ex vivo MR imaging and by histology, with a good correlation with histology regarding lumen circumference (r = 0.94) and wall thickness (r = 0.97). Conclusion: Magnetic resonance imaging at 2 T to analyze in vivo atherosclerotic lesions in mice is possible with a spatial resolution of 86 × 86 × 800 μm3 and thus can be used for noninvasive follow-up in evaluation of new drugs.
- High resolution
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Mouse model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology