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These studies test, using intravital microscopy (IVM), the hypotheses that perfusion effects on insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake (MGU) are ) capillary recruitment independent and ) mediated through the dispersion of glucose rather than insulin. For , capillary perfusion was visualized before and after intravenous insulin. No capillary recruitment was observed. For , mice were treated with vasoactive compounds (sodium nitroprusside, hyaluronidase, and lipopolysaccharide), and dispersion of fluorophores approximating insulin size (10-kDa dextran) and glucose (2-NBDG) was measured using IVM. Subsequently, insulin and 2[C]deoxyglucose were injected and muscle phospho-2[C]deoxyglucose (2[C]DG) accumulation was used as an index of MGU. Flow velocity and 2-NBDG dispersion, but not perfused surface area or 10-kDa dextran dispersion, predicted phospho-2[C]DG accumulation. For , microspheres of the same size and number as are used for contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) studies of capillary recruitment were visualized using IVM. Due to their low concentration, microspheres were present in only a small fraction of blood-perfused capillaries. Microsphere-perfused blood volume correlated to flow velocity. These findings suggest that ) flow velocity rather than capillary recruitment controls microvascular contributions to MGU, ) glucose dispersion is more predictive of MGU than dispersion of insulin-sized molecules, and ) CEU measures regional flow velocity rather than capillary recruitment.
OBJECTIVE - Changes in microvascular perfusion have been reported in many diseases, yet the functional significance of altered perfusion is often difficult to determine. This is partly because commonly used techniques for perfusion measurement often rely on either indirect or by-hand approaches.
METHODS - We developed and validated a fully automated software technique to measure microvascular perfusion in videos acquired by fluorescence microscopy in the mouse gastrocnemius. Acute perfusion responses were recorded following intravenous injections with phenylephrine, SNP, or saline.
RESULTS - Software-measured capillary flow velocity closely correlated with by-hand measured flow velocity (R = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Software estimates of capillary hematocrit also generally agreed with by-hand measurements (R = 0.64, P < 0.0001). Detection limits range from 0 to 2000 μm/s, as compared to an average flow velocity of 326 ± 102 μm/s (mean ± SD) at rest. SNP injection transiently increased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit and made capillary perfusion more steady and homogenous. Phenylephrine injection had the opposite effect in all metrics. Saline injection transiently decreased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit without influencing flow distribution or stability. All perfusion metrics were temporally stable without intervention.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate a novel and sensitive technique for reproducible, user-independent quantification of microvascular perfusion.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Blood flow regulation in pancreatic islets is critical for function but poorly understood. Here, we establish an in vivo imaging platform in a non-human primate where islets transplanted autologously into the anterior chamber of the eye are monitored non-invasively and longitudinally at single-cell resolution. Engrafted islets were vascularized and innervated and maintained the cytoarchitecture of in situ islets in the pancreas. Blood flow velocity in the engrafted islets was not affected by increasing blood glucose levels and/or the GLP-1R agonist liraglutide. However, islet blood flow was dynamic in nature and fluctuated in various capillaries. This was associated with vasoconstriction events resembling a sphincter-like action, most likely regulated by adrenergic signaling. These observations suggest a mechanism in primate islets that diverts blood flow to cell regions with higher metabolic demand. The described imaging technology applied in non-human primate islets may contribute to a better understanding of human islet pathophysiology.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Conventional Doppler ultrasound is useful for visualizing fast blood flow in large resolvable vessels. However, frame rate and tissue clutter caused by movement of the patient or sonographer make visualizing slow flow with ultrasound difficult. Patient and sonographer motion causes spectral broadening of the clutter signal, which limits ultrasound's sensitivity to velocities greater than 5-10 mm/s for typical clinical imaging frequencies. To address this, we propose a clutter filtering technique that may increase the sensitivity of Doppler measurements to at least as low as 0.52 mm/s. The proposed technique uses plane wave imaging and an adaptive frequency and amplitude demodulation scheme to decrease the bandwidth of tissue clutter. To test the performance of the adaptive demodulation method at suppressing tissue clutter bandwidths due to sonographer hand motion alone, six volunteer subjects acquired data from a stationary phantom. Additionally, to test in vivo feasibility, arterial occlusion and muscle contraction studies were performed to assess the efficiency of the proposed filter at preserving signals from blood velocities 2 mm/s or greater at a 7.8 MHz center frequency. The hand motion study resulted in initial average bandwidths of 175 Hz (8.60mm/s), which were decreased to 10.5 Hz (0.52 mm/s) at -60 dB using our approach. The in vivo power Doppler studies resulted in 4.73 dB and 4.80 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with the proposed filter and 0.15 dB and 0.16 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with a conventional 50 Hz high-pass filter for the occlusion and contraction studies, respectively.
Sickle cell anemia (SCA) is a genetic disorder resulting in reduced oxygen carrying capacity and elevated stroke risk. Pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) measures of cerebral blood flow (CBF) may have relevance for stroke risk assessment; however, the effects of elevated flow velocity and reduced bolus arrival time (BAT) on CBF quantification in SCA patients have not been thoroughly characterized, and pCASL model parameters used in healthy adults are often applied to patients with SCA. Here, cervical arterial flow velocities and pCASL labeling efficiencies were computed in adults with SCA (n = 19) and age- and race-matched controls without sickle trait (n = 7) using pCASL in sequence with phase contrast MR angiography (MRA). Controls (n = 7) and a subgroup of patients (n = 8) also underwent multi-post-labeling-delay pCASL for BAT assessment. Mean flow velocities were elevated in SCA adults (velocity = 28.3 ± 4.1 cm/s) compared with controls (velocity = 24.5 ± 3.8 cm/s), and mean pCASL labeling efficiency (α) was reduced in SCA adults (α = 0.72) relative to controls (α = 0.91). In patients, mean whole-brain CBF from phase contrast MRA was 91.8 ± 18.1 ml/100 g/min, while mean pCASL CBF when assuming a constant labeling efficiency of 0.86 was 75.2 ± 17.3 ml/100 g/min (p < 0.01), resulting in a mean absolute quantification error of 23% when a labeling efficiency appropriate for controls was assumed. This difference cannot be accounted for by BAT (whole-brain BAT: control, 1.13 ± 0.06 s; SCA, 1.02 ± 0.09 s) or tissue T variation. In conclusion, BAT variation influences pCASL quantification less than elevated cervical arterial velocity and labeling efficiency variation in SCA adults; thus, a lower labeling efficiency (α = 0.72) or subject-specific labeling efficiency should be incorporated for SCA patients.
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
In a retrospective cohort study, we tested the hypothesis that when prescribing hydroxyurea (HU) to children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to prevent vaso-occlusive events, there will be a secondary benefit of maintaining low transcranial Doppler (TCD) velocity, measured by imaging technique (TCDi). HU was prescribed for 90.9% (110 of 120) of children with SCA ≥5 years of age and followed for a median of 4.4 years, with 70% (n = 77) receiving at least one TCDi evaluation after starting HU. No child prescribed HU had a conditional or abnormal TCDi measurement. HU initiation for disease severity prevention decreases the prevalence of abnormal TCDi velocities.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Muscle blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) contrast is greater in magnitude and potentially more influenced by extravascular BOLD mechanisms at 7 T than it is at lower field strengths. Muscle BOLD imaging of muscle contractions at 7 T could, therefore, provide greater or different contrast than at 3 T. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using BOLD imaging at 7 T to assess the physiological responses to in vivo muscle contractions. Thirteen subjects (four females) performed a series of isometric contractions of the calf muscles while being scanned in a Philips Achieva 7 T human imager. Following 2 s maximal isometric plantarflexion contractions, BOLD signal transients ranging from 0.3 to 7.0% of the pre-contraction signal intensity were observed in the soleus muscle. We observed considerable inter-subject variability in both the magnitude and time course of the muscle BOLD signal. A subset of subjects (n = 7) repeated the contraction protocol at two different repetition times (T : 1000 and 2500 ms) to determine the potential of T -related inflow effects on the magnitude of the post-contractile BOLD response. Consistent with previous reports, there was no difference in the magnitude of the responses for the two T values (3.8 ± 0.9 versus 4.0 ± 0.6% for T = 1000 and 2500 ms, respectively; mean ± standard error). These results demonstrate that studies of the muscle BOLD responses to contractions are feasible at 7 T. Compared with studies at lower field strengths, post-contractile 7 T muscle BOLD contrast may afford greater insight into microvascular function and dysfunction.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Automated software improves the accuracy and reliability of blood velocity, vessel diameter, blood flow, and shear rate ultrasound measurements, but existing software offers limited flexibility to customize and validate analyses. We developed FloWave.US-open-source software to automate ultrasound blood flow analysis-and demonstrated the validity of its blood velocity (aggregate relative error, 4.32%) and vessel diameter (0.31%) measures with a skeletal muscle ultrasound flow phantom. Compared with a commercial, manual analysis software program, FloWave.US produced equivalent in vivo cardiac cycle time-averaged mean (TAMean) velocities at rest and following a 10-s muscle contraction (mean bias <1 pixel for both conditions). Automated analysis of ultrasound blood flow data was 9.8 times faster than the manual method. Finally, a case study of a lower extremity muscle contraction experiment highlighted the ability of FloWave.US to measure small fluctuations in TAMean velocity, vessel diameter, and mean blood flow at specific time points in the cardiac cycle. In summary, the collective features of our newly designed software-accuracy, reliability, reduced processing time, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility-offer advantages over existing proprietary options. Further, public distribution of FloWave.US allows researchers to easily access and customize code to adapt ultrasound blood flow analysis to a variety of vascular physiology applications.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Studying the magnitude and kinetics of blood flow, oxygen extraction, and oxygen consumption at exercise onset and during the recovery from exercise can lead to insights into both the normal control of metabolism and blood flow and the disturbances to these processes in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine the on- and off-kinetics for oxygen delivery, extraction, and consumption as functions of submaximal contraction intensity. Eight healthy subjects performed four 1-min isometric dorsiflexion contractions, with two at 20% MVC and two at 40% MVC. During one contraction at each intensity, relative perfusion changes were measured by using arterial spin labeling, and the deoxyhemoglobin percentage (%HHb) was estimated using the spin- and gradient-echo sequence and a previously published empirical calibration. For the whole group, the mean perfusion did not increase during contraction. The %HHb increased from ∼28 to 38% during contractions of each intensity, with kinetics well described by an exponential function and mean response times (MRTs) of 22.7 and 21.6 s for 20 and 40% MVC, respectively. Following contraction, perfusion increased ∼2.5-fold. The %HHb, oxygen consumption, and perfusion returned to precontraction levels with MRTs of 27.5, 46.4, and 50.0 s, respectively (20% MVC), and 29.2, 75.3, and 86.0 s, respectively (40% MVC). These data demonstrate in human subjects the varied recovery rates of perfusion and oxygen consumption, along with the similar rates of %HHb recovery, across these exercise intensities.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.