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n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Changes in cardiac structure and function in a modified rat model of myocardial hypertrophy : cardiovascular topics
Aim: In this study we designed a modified method of abdominal aortic constriction (AAC) in order to establish a stable animal model of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). We also evaluated cardiac structure and function in rats with myocardial hypertrophy using echocardiography, and provide a theory and experimental basis for the application of drug interventions using the LVH animal model. We hope this model will provide insight into novel clinical therapies for LVH.
Methods: The abdominal aorta of male Wistar rats (80-100 g) was constricted between the branches of the coeliac and anterior mesenteric arteries, to a diameter of 0.55 mm. Echocardiography, using a linear phase array probe, combined with histology and plasma BNP concentration, was performed at three, four and six weeks post AAC.
Results: The acute (24-hour) mortality rate was lower (8%) than in previous reports (15%) using this modified rat model. Compared with shams, animals who underwent AAC demonstrated significantly increased interventricular septal (IVS), LV posterior wall (LVPWd), LV mass index (LVMI), cross-sectional area (CSA) of myocytes, and perivascular fibrosis; while the ejection fraction (EF), fractional shortening (FS) and cardiac output (CO) were consistently lower at each time interval. Notably, differences in these parameters between the AAC and sham groups were significant by three weeks and reached a peak at four weeks. Following AAC, plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level was gradually elevated, compared with the sham group, between three and six weeks.
Conclusion: This modified AAC model induced LVH both stably and safely by week four post surgery. Echocardiography was accurately able to assess changes in chamber dimensions and systolic properties in the rats with LVH.
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