Micro-computed tomography for the quantitative 3-dimensional assessment of the compact myocardium in the mouse embryo

Samer S. Merchant, Yasuhiro Kosaka, H. Joseph Yost, Edward W. Hsu, Luca Brunelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Ventricular non-compaction is characterized by a thin layer of compact ventricular myocardium and it is an important abnormality in the mouse heart. It is reminiscent of left ventricular non-compaction, a fairly common human congenital cardiomyopathy. Non-compaction in transgenic mice has been classically evaluated by measuring the thickness of the compact myocardium through histological techniques involving image analysis of 2-dimensional (D) sections. Given the 3D nature of the heart, the aim of this study was to determine whether a technique for the non-destructive, 3D assessment of the mouse embryonic compact myocardium could be developed. Methods and Results: Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), in combination with iodine staining, enabled the differentiation of the trabecular from the compact myocardium in wild-type mice. The 3D and digital nature of the micro-CT data allowed computation anatomical techniques to be readily applied, which were demonstrated via construction of group atlases and atlas-based descriptive statistics. Finally, micro-CT was used to identify the presence of non-compaction in mice with a deletion of the cell cycle inhibitor protein, p27 Kip1. Conclusions: Iodine staining-enhanced micro-CT with computational anatomical analysis represents a valid addition to classical histology for the delineation of compact myocardial wall thickness in the mouse embryo. Given the quantitative 3D resolution of micro-CT, these approaches might provide helpful information for the analysis of non compaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1795-1803
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-Cardiac morphology
  • Micro-computed tomography
  • P27
  • Transgenic mouse
  • Ventricular noncompaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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