To evaluate the potential of whole-body CT to detect localized areas of decreased or increased vascularity in coronary arterial walls. We used both microsphere embolization of coronary artery vasa vasorum to generate small areas of hypoperfusion and surrounding hyperperfusion of the arterial wall and diet-induced hypercholesterolemia. As a stimulus for localized angiogenesis, such as occurs in early plaque formation in the coronary arterial wall, microspheres were injected selectively into the LAD coronary artery lumens of anesthetized pigs. Fourteen pigs (acute) then had a segment of their LAD harvested during injection of contrast medium and snap-frozen for subsequent cryo-static micro-CT. An additional thirteen pigs (chronic) were allowed to recover, fed a high cholesterol diet and 3 months later were again anesthetized and a segment of the LAD artery harvested and scanned. The spatial distribution of the contrast agent within the arterial wall was measured in contiguous micro-CT images at right angles to the lumen axis with the area of wall in each crosssectional image being approximately (0.1 mm)3 in size. In the acute animals there were no localized areas of increased contrast around the hypoperfused embolized perfusion territories in the arterial wall, but in the chronic animals the hypoperfused areas were surrounded by increased contrast. These results suggest that CT might be able to detect localized regions of increased vascularity in the arterial wall as an indicator of early atherosclerotic stimulation of vasa vasorum proliferation.
- Arterial wall perfusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine