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Grabmaier, Ulrich; Theiss, Hans D.; Keithahn, Alexandra; Kreiner, Julia; Brenner, Christoph; Huber, Bruno; Helm, Christine von der; Gross, Lisa; Klingel, Karin; Franz, Wolfgang-M. and Brunner, Stefan (2014): The Role of 1.5 Tesla MRI and Anesthetic Regimen Concerning Cardiac Analysis in Mice with Cardiomyopathy.
In: PLOS ONE 9(4), e94615 [PDF, 2MB]

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Accurate assessment of left ventricular function in rodent models is essential for the evaluation of new therapeutic approaches for cardiac diseases. In our study, we provide new insights regarding the role of a 1.5 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device and different anesthetic regimens on data validity. As dedicated small animal MRI and echocardiographic devices are not broadly available, we evaluated whether monitoring cardiac function in small rodents with a clinical 1.5 T MRI device is feasible. On a clinical electrocardiogram (ECG) synchronized 1.5 T MRI scanner we therefore studied cardiac function parameters of mice with chronic virus-induced cardiomyopathy. Thus, reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) could be verified compared to healthy controls. However, our results showed a high variability. First, anesthesia with medetomidine, midazolam and fentanyl (MMF) led to depressed cardiac function parameters and more variability than isoflurane gas inhalation anesthesia, especially at high concentrations. Furthermore, calculation of an average ejection fraction value from sequenced scans significantly reduced the variance of the results. To sum up, we introduce the clinical 1.5 T MRI device as a new tool for effective analysis of left ventricular function in mice with cardiomyopathy. Besides, we suggest isoflurane gas inhalation anesthesia at high concentrations for variance reduction and recommend calculation of an average ejection fraction value from multiple sequenced MRI scans to provide valid data and a solid basis for further clinical testing.

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