Quantitative 129Xe MRI detects early impairment of gas-exchange in a rat model of pulmonary hypertension.
Hyperpolarized 129Xe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is capable of regional mapping of pulmonary gas-exchange and has found application in a wide range of pulmonary disorders in humans and animal model analogs. This study is the first application of 129Xe MRI to the monocrotaline rat model of pulmonary hypertension. Such models of preclinical pulmonary hypertension, a disease of the pulmonary vasculature that results in right heart failure and death, are usually assessed with invasive procedures such as right heart catheterization and histopathology. The work here adapted from protocols from clinical 129Xe MRI to enable preclinical imaging of rat models of pulmonary hypertension on a Bruker 7 T scanner. 129Xe spectroscopy and gas-exchange imaging showed reduced 129Xe uptake by red blood cells early in the progression of the disease, and at a later time point was accompanied by increased uptake by barrier tissues, edema, and ventilation defects-all of which are salient characteristics of the monocrotaline model. Imaging results were validated by H&E histology, which showed evidence of remodeling of arterioles. This proof-of-concept study has demonstrated that hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI has strong potential to be used to non-invasively monitor the progression of pulmonary hypertension in preclinical models and potentially to also assess response to therapy.
Virgincar, RS; Nouls, JC; Wang, Z; Degan, S; Qi, Y; Xiong, X; Rajagopal, S; Driehuys, B
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