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Data from: Longitudinal characterization of local perfusion of the rat placenta using contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging

Citation

Lawrence, Dylan J.; Huda, Kristie; Bayer, Carolyn L. (2019), Data from: Longitudinal characterization of local perfusion of the rat placenta using contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.23c646q

Abstract

The placenta provides a wide range of physiologic functions critical for development. Insufficient placental perfusion resulting from improper vascular remodeling is linked to many pregnancy-related diseases including intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia. Here, we use contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to assess longitudinal, in vivo placental perfusion through a pixel-wise time-intensity curve (TIC) analysis. CEUS images were acquired of the placenta of pregnant Sprague Dawley rats on gestational days (GD) 14, 16, and 18 after a bolus injection of gas-filled microbubble contrast agents. Conventionally, perfusion can be quantified using a TIC of contrast enhancement in an averaged region of interest. However, the placenta has a complex structure and flow profile, which is insufficiently described using the conventional technique. In this work, we apply curve fitting in each pixel of the CEUS image series in order to quantify hemodynamic parameters in the placenta and surrounding tissue. We observed an increase in mean placental blood volume and relative blood flow from GD14 to 18, while mean transit time of the microbubbles decreased, demonstrating an overall rise in placental perfusion during gestation. The variance of all three parameters increased during gestation showing the regional differences in perfusion observable using a pixel-wise TIC approach. Future work will use targeted microbubble contrast agents to vascular remodeling in the placenta during pathologies of pregnancy.

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