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Dynamic In Vivo Motion Of The Mouse Aortic Heart Valve
Daniel Gramling1, Xinzeng Feng2, Altea vanVeldhuisen1, Frederick Damen1, Kaitlyn Thatcher3, Felix Liu4, David McComb4, Christopher Breuer5, Joy Lincoln3, Michael Sacks2, Craig Goergen1.
1Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, 2University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA, 3Herma Heart Institute-Children's Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA, 4The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, 5Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA.

OBJECTIVE:
Genetically modified mouse animal model of heart valve disease provides an efficient platform to study heart valve disease and test potential treatments. However, the small size and fast cardiac cycle of mouse heart valves hindered our ability to visualize mouse heart valves in vivo. Using a recently developed small animal imaging technique, high-frequency four-dimensional ultrasound (4DUS), we recontrusted for the first time the in vivo geometry of mouse aortic valves (AoV) at open and close states and showed its consistency with ex vivo ÁCT imaging results at the closed state.
METHODS:
Data Acquisition: A Vevo 3100 (FUJIFILM VisualSonics) instrument (Figure 1a) was used to acquire the 4DUS images of the AoVs of 3 C57BL/6J mice (healthy, male). A Thermo Scientific Heliscan ÁCT instrument was used to obtain the ex vivo ÁCT images on 1 C57BL/6J mouse (healthy, male) fixed at the closed state (100 mmHg). Data Analysis: The 4DUS images of the mouse AoVs at both open and closed states (Figure 1b, 1c) were oriented orthogonal to the aortic annulus, stabilized against intra-thoracic motion, and manually tracked to yield key structural information of each leaflet. A mouse heart valve geometric model was then applied to reconstruct the entire AoV geometry. The ex vivo ÁCT data was manually segmented for the AoV volume.
RESULTS:
The reconstructed in vivo geometry at the closed state (Figure 1d) showed good agreement with ex vivo AoV geometry (Figure 1e).
CONCLUSIONS:
We demonstrated the ability to use high-frequency 4DUS to robustly obtain in vivo mouse AoV geometry. The technique detailed here provides a foundation for longitudinal characterization of mouse models of AoV disease.


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