Qing Ye1, Yijen L. Wu1, Brent D. Barbe1, Fang-Cheng Yeh1, Li Liu1, Lesley M. Foley1, T. Kevin Hitchens1, Chien Ho1
MRI is a powerful tool for heart transplantation research. Here, we characterized the rejection states and cardiac function of two different heterotopic transplantation models (working and nonworking hearts) in rats by cellular and functional MRI. Our data shows that the nonworking heart graft had poor cardiac function and rejected much faster than the working-heart model, even though they both showed strong palpation and normal ECG, which is not adequate for complementary graft evaluation. Cellular and functional MRI can evaluate rejection and function status of graft in real time with whole-heart information and avoid biases during investigation of the immune response.