Objective: Assessment of thrombus inflammation in vivo could provide new insights into deep vein thrombosis (DVT) resolution. Here, we develop and evaluate 2 integrated fluorescence molecular-structural imaging strategies to quantify DVT-related inflammation and architecture and to assess the effect of thrombus inflammation on subsequent DVT resolution in vivo.
Methods and results: Murine DVT were created with topical 5% FeCl(3) application to thigh or jugular veins (n=35). On day 3, mice received macrophage and matrix metalloproteinase activity fluorescence imaging agents. On day 4, integrated assessment of DVT inflammation and architecture was performed using confocal fluorescence intravital microscopy. Day 4 analyses showed robust relationships among in vivo thrombus macrophages, matrix metalloproteinase activity, and fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran deposition (r>0.70; P<0.01). In a serial 2-time point study, mice with DVT underwent intravital microscopy at day 4 and day 6. Analyses revealed that the intensity of thrombus inflammation at day 4 predicted the magnitude of DVT resolution at day 6 (P<0.05). In a second approach, noninvasive fluorescence molecular tomography-computed tomography was used and detected macrophages within jugular DVT (P<0.05 versus sham controls).
Conclusions: Integrated fluorescence molecular-structural imaging demonstrates that the DVT-induced inflammatory response can be readily assessed in vivo and can inform the magnitude of thrombus resolution.