Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(7): 537-541
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1202866
Animals, Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Analysis of Murine Vascular Function In Vivo by Optical Coherence Tomography in Response to High-fat Diet

G. Muller 1 , S. Meissner 2 , J. Walther 2 , M. Cuevas 2 , E. Koch 2 , H. Morawietz 1
  • 1Division of Vascular Endothelium and Microcirculation, Medical Clinic and Policlinic III, University of Technology Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • 2Division of Clinical Sensoring and Monitoring, Clinic and Policlinic of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Technology Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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received 15.10.2008

accepted 15.01.2009

12. März 2009 (online)


In this study, we demonstrate the application of optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a contactless imaging technique to analyze vasodynamics in small blood vessels in vivo. The transluminal OCT imaging of vessels avoids micro traumata in the endothelium and circumvents surgical intervention. It can be performed in the intact perfused vessel and provides a new method to measure vascular function and dynamics in vivo. The resolution of 10 μm and the velocity of image acquisition are adequate to detect differences in the inner diameter, the maximal velocity, or the time to half-maximal diameter change of small vessels. We applied this new technology to study the vascular dynamics in small vessels of 6- and 20-week-old C57BL/6 mice in vivo. In addition, we determined by this technique the impact of a high-fat diet for 14 weeks on vascular function in 20-week-old animals. The diameter of the saphenous artery was increased under resting conditions, after vasoconstriction and after vasodilatation in 20-week-old animals on normal chow and high-fat diet, compared to 6-week-old animals. High-fat diet caused a significantly impaired vasoconstriction in the saphenous artery. The maximal velocity of diameter changes of the saphenous artery was determined by time-resolved OCT imaging. A significant reduction of this parameter was found during vasoconstriction in 20-week-old mice on high-fat diet, compared to 6-week-old animals. In conclusion, transluminal optical coherence tomography imaging is a novel and useful technique to analyze the impaired vasodynamics of small arteries in response to high-fat diet in vivo.



G. Muller

University of Technology Dresden

Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus

Department of Medical Clinic and Policlinic III

Division of Vascular Endothelium and Microcirculation

Fetscherstr. 74

01307 Dresden


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