Noninvasive assessment of foot perfusion in cholesterol-fed rabbits using dynamic volume perfusion CT with an upslope method

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Sci Rep. 2022 May 25;12(1):8894. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12756-7.


To evaluate the feasibility of dynamic foot volume CT with the upslope method and to demonstrate macrovascular reactivity and microvascular perfusion during cuff-induced reactive hyperemia state in cholesterol-fed rabbits. 30 New Zealand male rabbits were divided into 2 groups: dietary hypercholesterolemia (n = 10) and normal diet control (n = 20). To measure for macrovascular reactivity, perfusion parameters of the left posterior tibial artery was measured at baseline and at reactive hyperemia state. For the evaluation of microvascular perfusion, color-coded perfusion map of the plantar dermis was generated for perfusion CT scan by an in-house developed dedicated analysis software based on upslope method. Dermal perfusion values were measured and analyzed before and after cuff-induced reactive hyperemia. Foot dynamic volume CT with the upslope method demonstrated significant impairment of both macrovascular reactivity and microvascular perfusion in cholesterol-fed rabbits without significant macrovascular lesions during cuff-induced reactive hyperemia (CRH) state. Arterial time-to-peak of cholesterol-fed rabbits failed to show acceleration while chow-fed rabbits showed significant decrease in time. Microvascular perfusion calculated by perfusion value (P < 0.01) and perfusion ratio (P = .014) showed decreased microvascular perfusion in cholesterol-fed rabbits compared to chow-fed rabbits during CRH state. Post-CT pathologic examination revealed decreased endothelial cell density in cholesterol-fed rabbits (P < 0.001). Foot perfusion CT using upslope method provides perfusion parameters for large arteries and a perfusion map of the foot during cuff-induced reactive hyperemia in cholesterol-fed rabbits. It may be a useful tool to assess microvascular reactivity in patients with peripheral artery disease but no apparent macrovascular lesions.

PMID:35614120 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-12756-7