Abstract 228: Alterations of Cardiac Morphology and Function Caused by Cardio-Thoracic Surgery in Small Animal Models of Heart Disease
Background: Surgical procedures in small animal models of heart disease, such as artificial ligation of the coronary arteries for experimental myocardial infarction, can evoke alterations in cardiac morphology and function. Such alterations might induce artificial early or long term effects in vivo that might account for a significant bias in basic cardiovascular research, and, therefore, could potentially question the meaning of respective studies in small animal models of heart disease.
Methods: Female Wistar rats were matched for weight and distributed to sham left coronary artery ligation or untreated control. Cardiac parameters were then investigated in vivo by high-field MRI over time after the surgical procedure, determining left and right ventricular morphology and function. Additionally, the time course of several metabolic and inflammatory blood parameters was determined.
Results: Rats after sham surgery showed a lower body weight for up to 8 weeks after the intervention compared to healthy controls. Left and right ventricular morphology and function were not different in absolute measures in both groups 1 week after surgery. However, there was a confined difference in several cardiac parameters normalized to the body weight (bw), such as myocardial mass (2.19±0.30/0.83±0.13 vs. 1.85±0.22/0.70±0.07 mg left/right per g bw, p<0.05), or enddiastolic ventricular volume (1.31±0.36/1.21±0.31 vs. 1.14±0.20/1.07±0.17 µl left/right per g bw, p<0.05). Vice versa, after 8 weeks, cardiac masses, volumes, and output showed a trend for lower values in the sham operated rats compared to the controls in absolute measures (782.2±57.2/260.2±33.2 vs. 805.9±84.8/310.4±48.5 mg, p<0.05 for left/right ventricular mass), but not normalized to body weight. Matching these findings, blood testing revealed prolonged metabolic and inflammatory changes after surgery not related to cardiac disease.
Conclusion: There is a small distinct impact of cardio-thoracic surgical procedures on the global integrity of the organism, which in the long term also includes circumscribed repercussions on cardiac morphology and function. This impact has to be considered when analyzing data from respective studies and transferring the findings to conditions in patients.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.