Qing Ye1, Yijen L. Wu1, Lesley M. Foley1, Brent D. Barbe1, Fang-Cheng Yeh1, T. Kevin Hitchens1, Li Liu1, Chien Ho1
Cardiac allograft chronic rejection (CR) remains a major obstacle for long-term graft survival after heart transplantation. Non-invasive assessment of cardiac allograft status is highly desirable. We are developing non-invasive means for detecting allograft rejection using cardiac MRI techniques. In this study, we used a heterotopic rat model of CR to investigate longitudinal characteristics of CR progression over time with multi-parameter cellular and functional MRI. Our preliminary results indicate that simultaneous cellular and tagging MRI can evaluate rejection status non-invasively over time, which may be a reliable alternative for assessment of CR and potentially translate to clinical arena.