Integrated Backscatter for the In Vivo Quantification of Supraphysiological Vitamin D(3)-Induced Cardiovascular Calcifications in Rats

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Abstract

Cardiovascular calcifications are frequently found in the aging population and
are independent predictors of future cardiovascular events. Integrated
backscatter (IB) of ultrasound reflectivity can easily quantify calcifications.
For this purpose, 30 male Wistar rats received 25,000 IU/kg/day of vitamin D(3)
(group 1, n = 8), 18,800 IU/kg/day (group 2, n = 8), or injections with the
vehicle only (group 3, n = 14), for 10 weeks. Echocardiographic calibrated IB
(cIB) was measured and calculated at baseline and after 10 weeks, followed by ex
vivo micro-CT and histopathology of the aortic valve, ascending aorta, and
myocardium. After 10 weeks, the mean cIB value of the aortic valve was
significantly higher for vitamin D(3)-dosed animals compared to controls. The
mean cIB value of the ascending aorta and the myocardium was also significantly
higher in group 1 compared to group 3. In vivo IB results were confirmed by ex
vivo micro-CT and histopathology. In conclusion, IB is a non-ionizing, feasible,
and reproducible tool to quantify cardiovascular calcifications in an in vivo rat
model. The integration of IB in the standard echocardiographic examination for
the quantification of cardiovascular calcifications could be useful for serial
evaluation of treatment efficacy and for prognosis assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovasc Toxicol
Volume11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular calcifications
  • echocardiograpy
  • micro-CT
  • Integrated backscatter
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Small animals
  • Vitamin D3

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