Comparison of cine and real-time cardiac MRI in rhesus macaques

Sci Rep. 2021 May 21;11(1):10713. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90106-9.


Cardiac MRI in rhesus macaques, a species of major relevance for preclinical studies on biological therapies, requires artificial ventilation to realize breath holding. To overcome this limitation of standard cine MRI, the feasibility of Real-Time (RT) cardiac MRI has been tested in a cohort of ten adult rhesus macaques using a clinical MR-system. In spite of lower tissue contrast and sharpness of RT-MRI, cardiac functions were similarly well assessed by RT-MRI compared to cine MRI (similar intra-subject repeatability). However, systematic underestimation of the end-diastolic volume (31 ± 9%), end-systolic volume (20 ± 11%), stroke volume (40 ± 12%) and ejection fraction (13 ± 9%) hamper the comparability of RT-MRI results with those of other cardiac MRI methods. Yet, the underestimations were very consistent (< 5% variability) for repetitive measurements, making RT-MRI an appropriate alternative to cine MRI for longitudinal studies. In addition, RT-MRI enabled the analysis of cardio-respiratory coupling. All functional parameters showed lower values during expiration compared to inspiration, most likely due to the pressure-controlled artificial ventilation. In conclusion, despite systematic underestimation of the functional parameters, RT-MRI allowed the assessment of left ventricular function in macaques with significantly less experimental effort, measurement time, risk and burden for the animals compared to cine MRI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine* / methods
  • Translational Research, Biomedical
  • Ventricular Function, Left