Our understanding of the pathophysiological basis of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) will be accelerated by an animal model that replicates the phenotype of human CTEPH. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered a combination of a single dose each of plastic microspheres and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor antagonist in polystyrene microspheres (PE) + tyrosine kinase inhibitor SU5416 (SU) group. Shams received volume-matched saline; PE and SU groups received only microspheres or SU5416, respectively. PE + SU rats exhibited sustained pulmonary hypertension (62 ± 13 and 53 ± 14 mmHg at 3 and 6 weeks, respectively) with reduction of the ventriculoarterial coupling in vivo coincident with a large decrement in peak rate of oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise, respectively. PE + SU produced right ventricular hypokinesis, dilation, and hypertrophy observed on echocardiography, and 40% reduction in right ventricular contractile function in isolated perfused hearts. High-resolution computed tomographic pulmonary angiography and Ki-67 immunohistochemistry revealed abundant lung neovascularization and cellular proliferation in PE that was distinctly absent in the PE + SU group. We present a novel rodent model to reproduce much of the known phenotype of CTEPH, including the pivotal pathophysiological role of impaired vascular endothelial growth factor–dependent vascular remodeling. This model may reveal a better pathophysiological understanding of how PE transitions to CTEPH in human treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine