Aim: To evaluate the agreement between contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging and histopathology in an animal model of atherosclerosis. Methods and results: Atherosclerosis was studied in both femoral arteries of four Rapacz familial hypercholesterolaemia (RFH) swine. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of the eight femoral arteries was performed at baseline and at 5, 12, 26, and 43 weeks follow-up after percutaneous transluminal stimulation of atherosclerosis to assess the progression of intima-media thickness (IMT) and the density and extent of the vasa vasorum network. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging allowed an early detection of atherosclerosis and showed a significant gradual progression of atherosclerosis over time. IMT increased from 0.22 ± 0.05 mm at baseline to 0.45 ± 0.06 mm (P < 0.001) at follow-up. The density of the vasa vasorum network increased during follow-up and was significantly higher in advanced than in early atherosclerosis. The findings with contrast-enhanced ultrasound were confirmed by histopathological specimens of the arterial wall. Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound is effective for in vivo detection of vasa vasorum in atherosclerotic plaques in the RFH swine model. After stimulation of atherosclerosis, contrast-enhanced ultrasound demonstrated a significantly increased IMT and significantly increased density of the vasa vasorum network in the developing atherosclerotic plaque, which was validated by histology.

, , ,
Chinese Journal of International Politics
Department of Cardiology

Schinkel, A.F.L, Krueger, C.G, Tellez, A, Granada, J.F, Reed, J.D, Hall, A, … Feinstein, S.B. (2010). Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for imaging vasa vasorum: Comparison with histopathology in a swine model of atherosclerosis. Chinese Journal of International Politics, 11(8), 659–664. Retrieved from