Serial examination of cardiac function and perfusion in growing rats using SPECT/CT for small animals

Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 13;10(1):160. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-57032-3.


Few studies have evaluated myocardial perfusion and ventricular function in normal, growing rats. We, therefore, evaluated serial changes in cardiac perfusion and function during the growth of normal rats using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with technetium (99mTc)-sestamibi. Gated SPECT was serially performed in six normal rats. The left ventricular end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), stroke volume (SV) and ejection fraction (EF) were calculated with Quantitative Gated SPECT software. The perfusion distribution was calculated as the percentage uptake of each of the 17 segments using Quantitative Perfusion SPECT software. As expected, the body weight (BW) of the rats increased with growth, but their heart rates (HR) did not change over time. EF decreased very slowly over time and showed a negative correlation with BW. EDV, ESV and SV showed strong positive correlations with BW. There were no significant differences in the percentage segmental uptake in 13 of the 17 segments during growth, except for three basal and one apical segments. Therefore, a single normal database could be applied for the evaluation of perfusion abnormalities in rats of at least 8 to 28 weeks old.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Perfusion
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stroke Volume
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Ventricular Function*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals