Alkystis Phinikaridou1, Marcelo Andia1, Rene Botnar1
1Imaging Sciences, King's
Endothelial dysfunction promotes atherosclerosis through vasoconstriction, platelet adhesion, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and thrombogenesis. In this study, we investigated whether contrast enhanced MRI using gadofosveset, a blood pool contrast agent, could detect endothelial damage associated with plaque progression in high-fat fed apoE -/- mice. Delayed enhancement MRI and measurements of the longitudinal relaxivity, R1, showed increased and localized uptake of gadofosveset within the brachiocephalic artery in mice with more severe atherosclerosis compared to mice with less atherosclerotic burden and control animals. The uptake of gadofosveset correlated with the uptake of Evans Blue dye, a histological marker of vascular wall permeability and endothelium dysfunction.