Comprehensive Analysis of Animal Models of Cardiovascular Disease using Multiscale X-Ray Phase Contrast Tomography
Dejea H, Garcia-Canadilla P, Cook AC, Guasch E, Zamora M, Crispi F, Stampanoni M, Bijnens B, Bonnin A . Comprehensive Analysis of Animal Models of Cardiovascular Disease using Multiscale X-Ray Phase Contrast Tomography. Nature Scientific Reports.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) affect the myocardium and vasculature, inducing remodelling of the heart from cellular to whole organ level. To assess their impact at micro and macroscopic level, multi-resolution imaging techniques that provide high quality images without sample alteration and in 3D are necessary: requirements not fulfilled by most of current methods. In this paper, we take advantage of the non-destructive time-efficient 3D multiscale capabilities of synchrotron Propagation-based X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging (PB-X-PCI) to study a wide range of cardiac tissue characteristics in one healthy and three different diseased rat models. With a dedicated image processing pipeline, PB-X-PCI images are analysed in order to show its capability to assess different cardiac tissue components at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. The presented technique evaluates in detail the overall cardiac morphology, myocyte aggregate orientation, vasculature changes, fibrosis formation and nearly single cell arrangement. Our results agree with conventional histology and literature. This study demonstrates that synchrotron PB-X-PCI, combined with image processing tools, is a powerful technique for multi-resolution structural investigation of the heart ex-vivo. Therefore, the proposed approach can improve the understanding of the multiscale remodelling processes occurring in CVDs, and the comprehensive and fast assessment of future interventional approaches.