The heart rate lowering drug Ivabradine was shown to improve cardiac outcome in patients with previous heart failure. However, in patients without heart failure, no beneficial effect of Ivabradine was observed. Animal studies suggested a preventive effect of Ivabradine on atherosclerosis which was due to an increase in wall shear stress (WSS), the blood flow-induced frictional force exerted on the endothelium, triggering anti-inflammatory responses. However, data on the effect of Ivabradine on WSS is sparse. We aim to study the effect of Ivabradine on (i) the 3D WSS distribution over a growing plaque and (ii) plaque composition. We induced atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice by placing a tapered cast around the right common carotid artery (RCCA). Five weeks after cast placement, Ivabradine was administered via drinking water (15 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks, after which the RCCA was excised for histology analyses. Before and after Ivabradine treatment, animals were imaged with Doppler Ultrasound to measure blood velocity. Vessel geometry was obtained using contrast-enhanced micro-CT. Time-averaged WSS during systole, diastole and peak WSS was subsequently computed. Ivabradine significantly decreased heart rate (459 ± 28 bpm vs. 567 ± 32 bpm, p < 0.001). Normalized peak flow significantly increased in the Ivabradine group (124.2% ± 40.5% vs. 87.3% ± 25.4%, p < 0.05), reflected by an increased normalized WSS level during systole (110.7% ± 18.4% vs. 75.4% ± 24.6%, p < 0.05). However, plaque size or composition including plaque area, relative necrotic core area and macrophage content were not altered in mice treated with Ivabradine compared to controls. We conclude that increased WSS in response to Ivabradine treatment did not affect plaque progression in a murine model.,
Scientific Reports
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Xing, R., Moerman, A., Ridwan, Y., van Gaalen, K., Meester, E. J., van der Steen, T., … van der Heiden, K. (2018). The effect of the heart rate lowering drug Ivabradine on hemodynamics in atherosclerotic mice. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32458-3