Thibault, H., S. Lafitte, J. Timperley, L. Tariosse, H. Becher, R. Roudaut and P. Dos Santos. Quantitative analysis of myocardial perfusion in rats by contrast echocardiography. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 18:1321-8, 2005.
BACKGROUND: The ability to assess myocardial perfusion in small animals is important, especially to investigate models of myocardial ischemia. Myocardial perfusion is usually assessed by postmortem techniques, eliminating the possibility of follow-up. We sought to evaluate whether contrast echocardiography was able to quantify myocardial perfusion in rats. METHODS: Twenty-four rats divided in 3 groups (sham-operated, and 8 and 21 days after left anterior descending coronary artery stenosis) underwent myocardial contrast echocardiography using intermittent triggered imaging. Peak plateau intensity and slope of refilling were compared with myocardial blood flow achieved with fluorescent microspheres. RESULTS: High-quality images were easily obtained for each experiment. Close correlation was found between myocardial contrast echocardiography and myocardial blood flow, especially for measurements of peak plateau intensity x slope of refilling relative to the control area (y = 1.15 x -0.14, r = 0.86). CONCLUSION: Quantification of myocardial perfusion in rats is feasible by myocardial contrast echocardiography using intermittent triggered imaging.