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Computed Tomography To Assess Left Heart Dimensions In Adult Sheep: Basic Principles And Analysis
John P. Carney, Jill T. Schappa Faustich, Richard W. Bianco.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the most commonly used diagnostic imaging tools used in clinical medicine. While the sheep model has become the dominant animal model for testing in vivo safety and performance of novel heart valve replacement devices, a paucity of information exists as to imaging and assessment of cardiac anatomy in the sheep model using CT. The objective of this study was to document and present the methods for performing cardiac CT scans in the sheep model, and provide a retrospective analysis of left heart anatomical dimensions obtained from CT scans performed in adult sheep.
METHODS: The experimental protocol was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee prior to study initiation. One hundred adult domestic sheep were anesthetized and underwent thoracic CT scans, then recovered. Post processing of the scans utilized multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) techniques and several areas of the aorta and mitral valve were measured and tabulated.
RESULTS: All sheep were CT scanned and recovered from anesthesia without complication. Scan post processing and anatomical measurements were performed as outlined by the experimental protocol. Anatomical measurements were recorded and analyzed using descriptive statistics.
CONCLUSIONS: The data in the present study indicates that CT scanning when performed in sheep can generate clinically relevant anatomical views, and can provide anatomical measurement data of use in pre-procedural planning for insertion of novel heart valve replacement devices. The data indicates that breed is a significant determining factor in certain anatomical dimensions in the left heart, as well as a correlation between animal weight and left heart anatomical dimensions in the sheep model.


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