Medical ultrasound techniques are widely used for pre-clinical investigations. These non-invasive imaging modalities are crucial for researchers to observe changes in organ/tissue structure, size, and blood flow during disease stages as well as in response to pharmacological interventions. The requested equipment is an ultra high-frequency ultrasound machine (Vevo3100, FUJIFILM, VisualSonics) specifically manufactured to image mice, rats, and rabbits. The Vevo 3100 system will be equipped with a linear phased array ultrasound probe specific for animals in the size range of rabbits that is not currently available on our existing equipment. The Vevo 3100 system also has several upgrades in the ultrasound technology including; 1) improved resolution, 2) reduced artifact, 3) real time image processing, 4) left ventricular tracing, 5) improved workflow for rapid data acquisition, 6) speckle tracking analysis (for strain analysis), 7) an imaging station equipped with injection mount (for echo guided tissue injections), and 8) a high throughput analysis. All these functionalities would make this system a necessary part of our goal to produce high quality data in a time and cost efficient manner. Additionally, the Vevo 3100 system with high- resolution ultrasound has applications in nephrology by providing excellent delineation of renal tissues, the technology to quantify and analyze kidney size, and the ability to measure blood flow throughout the pelvic region. The functionality of this novel Vevo 3100 will allow our cardiovascular research groups (Drs. Roth, Patel, Dillmann, Hammond, Ross, and Mahata) as well as our colleagues in the nephrology department (Drs. Sharma, Singh, and Rajasekaran) the opportunities to expand their experimental capabilities.
Ischemic heart disease is an increasing health concern in the veteran population with new links being drawn between heart disease and service related factors such as Agent Orange exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder. Currently, nearly 70% of male veterans are older than 55 years of age and the majority of female veterans are over 45 years of age (National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics report 2011). The Vevo3100 Imaging System, by FUJIFILM Visual Sonics, will allow our cardiovascular and nephrology research groups to perform cutting edge pre-clinical investigations, to address this disease burden in our veteran population.