Bernard, S. L., J. R. Ewen, C. H. Barlow, J. J. Kelly, S. McKinney, D. A. Frazer and R. W. Glenny. High spatial resolution measurements of organ blood flow in small laboratory animals. American Journal Of Physiology Heart And Circulatory Physiology. 279:H2043-H2052, 2000.
With the use of a newly developed Imaging Cryomicrotome to determine the spatial location of fluorescent microspheres in organs, we validate and report our processing algorithms for measuring regional blood flow in small laboratory animals. Microspheres (15-mum diameter) of four different fluorescent colors and one radioactive label were simultaneously injected into the left ventricle of a pig. The heart and kidneys were dissected, and the numbers of fluorescent and radioactive microspheres were determined in 10 randomly selected pieces. All microsphere counts fell well within the 95% expected confidence limits as determined from the radioactive counts. Fluorescent microspheres (15-mum diameter) of four different colors were also injected into the tail vein of a rat and the left ventricle of a rabbit. After correction for Poisson noise, correlation coefficients between the colors were 0.99 +/- 0.02 (means +/- SD) for the rabbit heart and 0.99 +/- 0.02 for the rat lung. Mathematical dissection algorithms, statistics to analyze the spatial data, and methods to visualize blood flow distributions in small animal organs are presented.