Application Note

Assessment of Arterial Function Using MicroCT Imaging



Blood vessel mechanics and function are important aspects of cardiovascular research. Arterial changes have been associated with several pathophysiological conditions, disease states and treatment. Structural components of the arterial vessel wall, smooth vasculature tone, and transmural distending pressure are the primary determinants of vascular wall mechanical properties.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening disease that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart. It is characterized by an increase in pulmonary arterial pressure leading to right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy, heart failure, and death.

Small animal models are often used in experimental PAH research due to their similarities to human cardiovascular physiology. MRI and Ultrasound are established tools in evaluating RV function and physiology but each can present certain challenges including complex acquisition techniques, long imaging times, high imaging costs and accessibility. Conversely, microCT offers superior special resolution, fast acquisition times, 4D imaging, and ease-of-use.

Read this application note highlighting how researchers used the Quantum GX microCT system to quantify distensibility measurements in a rodent model using contrast-enhanced retrospectively gated computed tomography imaging.