The myocardial infarction (MI) rat model plays a crucial role in modern cardiovascular research, but the inherent heterogeneity of this model represents a challenge. We sought to identify subgroups among the post-MI rats, and establish simple non-invasive stratification protocols for such subgroups. Six weeks after induction of MI, 49 rats underwent non-invasive examinations using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and echocardiography. 12 sham-operated rats served as controls. Increased end-diastolic left ventricular (LV) pressure and lung weight served as indicators for congestive heart failure (CHF). A clustering algorithm using thirteen non-invasive and invasive parameters was used to identify distinct groups among the animals. The cluster analysis revealed four distinct post-MI phenotypes; two without congestion but with different degree of LV dilatation, and two with different degree of congestion and right ventricular (RV) affection. Among the MRI parameters, RV mass emerged as robust non-invasive marker of CHF with 100% specificity/sensitivity. Moreover, LV infarct size and RV ejection fraction further predicted subgroup among the non-CHF and CHF rats with excellent specificity/sensitivity. Of the echocardiography parameters, left atrial diameter predicted CHF. Moreover, MRI-derived LV end-diastolic diameter predicted the subgroups among the non-CHF rats. We propose two simple non-invasive schemes to stratify post-MI rats, based on the degree of heart failure; one for MRI and one for echocardiography.
- Myocardial infarction
- magnetic resonance imaging
- congestive heart failure
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology