University of Wisconsin–Madison

MR Biomarkers for the Noninvasive Evaluation & Early Detection of Atherosclerosis

May 2012 to September 2013

Our collaborators in the UW Department of Animal Sciences have a unique population of swine with familial hypercholesterolemia. As such, they develop early atherosclerosis. The goal of our project is to develop MRI-based biomarkers of atherosclerosis with the hope that we can detect disease burden in these swine before conventional methods of detection. SPECIFIC AIM 1: Develop algorithms and tools for analyzing wall shear stress (WSS) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements. Implement robust algorithms to compute wall shear stress and pulse wave velocity measurements from the PC VIPR data. Integrate the algorithms into a user-friendly graphical interface that can handle the large volume PC VIPR 3D data sets. SPECIFIC AIM 2: Evaluate the three-dimensional flow-sensitive MR technique in an animal model of atherosclerosis. Evaluate the PC VIPR acquisition and the WSS/PWV calculations in swine with atherosclerosis secondary to familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Perform such an evaluation in both six- and eighteen-month-old swine to assess differences in WSS and PWV between age groups. Use such information in future studies to determine an appropriate age range to evaluate FH swine longitudinally. Overall, we’re hoping that our MR techniques can facilitate the early detection of atherosclerosis.

This project led by: Andrew Wentland, PhD