Cardiovascular profiling

Preclinical imaging for cardiovascular disease and therapiesultrasound

Cardiovascular (CV) profiling combines morphology with molecular imaging modalities with genetics and biochemistry to determine the impact of diseases or therapies on the cardiovascular system in preclinical research.

CV profiling is suitable for preclinical studies of diseases with direct CV implications, but it is also useful for other diseases that may contribute to cardiovascular complications.

At Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI), our technologies allow us to visualise the heart and vasculature using multiple modalities including ultrasound, MRI and PET.

  • Ultrasound is a rapid non-invasive modality that is excellent for evaluation of morphological and functional parameters of the heart and vasculature.
  • PET can examine glucose uptake in tissues and can also show where tracers bind in specific targets in various disease states.
  • MRI can supply more information than ultrasound but it is more technically demanding and significantly slower, especially with regard to cardiac imaging.

The best imaging modality to select is always determined by the research questions that need answering. MBI’s Preclinical Support Team assists researchers in the early stages of their project to ensure they access the best suited technologies for their studies.

Diseases suitable for CV profiling

  • Cardiac disease: Ultrasound can evaluate heart morphology (e.g. congenital abnormalities, hypertrophy, dilation etc.) and function (e.g. systolic and diastolic dysfunction, strain, valvular dysfunction, vascular dysfunction and more).
  • Atherosclerosis: Ultrasound can detect plaques and measure occlusion, while PET can image lesions.
  • Stroke: MRI can measure vessel occlusion, perfusion and infarct size. Photoacoustics can measure tissue perfusion.
  • Microvascular disease: Photoacoustics can evaluate functional parameters in small vessels.
  • Diabetes: PET can measure glucose uptake and Ultrasound can visualise heart dysfunction
  • Fibrosis: Ultrasoundcan measure vessel and heart stiffness (strain).

Current research

MBI is providing CV profiling to a number of Monash University preclinical researchers. These studies include using CV profiling to assess IRAP inhibitors for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and ageing, identifying treatments and diagnostics for thrombosis, and investigating relaxin and a stem-cell based treatment of cardiac dysfunction.

For more information about CV profiling, please email Dr Michael de Veer or phone +61 3 9902 9783.