Alkystis Phinikaridou1, Marcelo E. Andia, Andreas Indermuehle, David C. Onthank2, Rick R. Cesati2, Simon P. Robinson2, Prakash Saha, Rene M. Botnar
1Imaging Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; 2Lantheus Medical Imaging
The extracellular matrix protein (ECM) elastin contributes to 30% of the dry weight of the vascular wall. Studies have shown that dysregulation of the balance between elastogenesis and elastolysis leads to the de novo accumulation of elastin fibers in the pathologically altered vessel wall and accompanies the development of atherosclerosis and may contribute to plaque instability. In this study, we employed in vivo MRI in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis and controlled plaque disruption to investigate the merits of an elastin-targeted gadolinium-based contrast agent for the detection of vessel wall remodeling and its association with plaque vulnerability.