Long-term stability of cardiac function in normal and chronically failing mouse hearts in a vertical-bore MR system.
Schneider JE., Hulbert KJ., Lygate CA., Ten Hove M., Cassidy PJ., Clarke K., Neubauer S.
We previously demonstrated stability of ventricular volumes and cardiac function in normal and in chronically failing mouse hearts in MR systems with a vertical-bore magnet for up to 1 h. However, in order to exploit the benefits of an increased magnetic field strength of these MR systems in more time-consuming studies required by, for example MR spectroscopy, we investigated whether cardiac function and ventricular volumes of healthy and infarcted mice would be affected in vertical position over a prolonged period. We applied high-resolution MR cine imaging on an 11.7 T vertical MR system to monitor cardiac functional parameters of normal and chronically failing mouse hearts over a period of 3 h in an upright position, with a temporal resolution of < or =15 min. We monitored left-ventricular volumes and cardiac functional parameters in both groups. In normal mice, we detected a decrease of left-ventricular end-systolic volumes by 8 microl and an approximately 23% increase of ejection fraction over time indicating a small but detectable degree of orthostatic dysregulation. Observed changes were more pronounced in mice with heart failure. Despite significant changes in left-ventricular volumes and function, absolute values measured for all functional cardiac parameters are consistent with near-physiological conditions. Thus, mice can be studied in high-field MR systems positioned vertically for 3 h.