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Author Notes:

Correspondence: schuermann@vrc.uni-frankfurt.de

Conceived and designed the experiments: CS FG HJ RB.

Performed the experiments: CS.

Analyzed the data: CS FG.

Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: FG FK RB.

Wrote the paper: CS FG HJ FK RB.

Designed the software used in Analysis: FG.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Felix Gremse is founder and owner of Gremse-IT, a startup company that offers software and services for medical image analysis in cooperation with Philips Research and the Department for Experimental Molecular Imaging.

This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the Goethe-University, the DFG Excellence Cluster 147 ECCPS – excellence cluster cardio-pulmonary system and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) and the DFG collaborative research centers SFB 815 (TP A1) and SFB 834 (TP A2) to CS.


  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics
  • FLOW
  • Histology
  • In vivo imaging
  • Carotid arteries
  • Common carotid arteries
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Mouse models
  • Linear regression analysis
  • X-ray radiography

Micro-CT Technique Is Well Suited for Documentation of Remodeling Processes in Murine Carotid Arteries


Journal Title:



Volume 10, Number 6


, Pages e0130374-e0130374

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: The pathomechanisms of atherosclerosis and vascular remodelling are under intense research. Only a few in vivo tools to study these processes longitudinally in animal experiments are available. Here, we evaluated the potential of micro-CT technology. Methods: Lumen areas of the common carotid arteries (CCA) in the ApoE<sup>-/-</sup> partial carotid artery ligation mouse model were compared between in vivo and ex vivo micro-CT technique and serial histology in a total of 28 animals. AuroVist-15 nm nanoparticles were used as in vivo blood pool contrast agent in a Skyscan 1176 micro-CT at resolution of 18 μmeter voxel size and a mean x-ray dose of 0.5 Gy. For ex vivo imaging, animals were perfused with MicroFil and imaged at 9 μmeter voxel size. Lumen area was evaluated at postoperative days 7, 14, and 28 first by micro-CT followed by histology. Results: In vivo micro-CT and histology revealed lumen loss starting at day 14. The lumen profile highly correlated (r = 0.79, P<0.0001) between this two methods but absolute lumen values obtained by histology were lower than those obtained by micro-CT. Comparison of in vivo and ex vivo micro-CT imaging revealed excellent correlation (r = 0.83, P<0.01). Post mortem micro-CT yielded a higher resolution than in vivo micro-CT but there was no statistical difference of lumen measurements in the partial carotid artery ligation model. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that in vivo micro-CT is a feasible and accurate technique with low animal stress to image remodeling processes in the murine carotid artery.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Schürmann et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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