Protocol for: Barium Angiography in Small Animals
Abstract or Description:
Angiography is defined as the imaging of the vascular system. X-ray is the most common imaging modality used for this application. Iodinated agents are typically used to absorb
X-rays and provide contrast during clinical and preclinical imaging. Unfortunately, many of the clinical agents may not work effectively or provide sufficient contrast in small animals. Moreover, expensive instrumentation, such as X-ray computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be unavailable to the preclinical researcher. In this study, we present a method of using less-expensive barium sulfate to achieve high-resolution angiograms in small animals using planar X-ray, and we subsequently compare the vascular structural anatomy in various transgenic mice.
Barium sulfate is a white crystalline solid that is insoluble in water and has well-known X-ray contrast. Barium sulfate has been widely used in “barium meal,” “barium swallow,” and “barium enema” preparations for the visualization of the structural and motility abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract, and it is used mostly in pediatric populations. Barium sulfate in vascular circulation is usually lethal as a result of the obstruction of blood flow, and thus its application to angiography is limited to post-mortem studies. Although iodinated contrast agents are generally used for intravascular imaging, we found barium gives better contrast than iodine compounds in small animals such mice.