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Novel In Vivo Micro-Computed Tomography Imaging Techniques for Assessing the Progression of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Published: March 24th, 2023



1The Roger Williams Institute of Hepatology London, Foundation for Liver Research, 2Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, 3Department of Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 4BIOEMTECH, Lefkippos Attica Technology Park NCSR "Demokritos"
* These authors contributed equally

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing global health issue, and the impact of NAFLD is compounded by the current lack of effective treatments. Considerable limiting factors hindering the timely and accurate diagnosis (including grading) and monitoring of NAFLD, as well as the development of potential therapies, are the current inadequacies in the characterization of the hepatic microenvironment structure and the scoring of the disease stage in a spatiotemporal and non-invasive manner. Using a diet-induced NAFLD mouse model, we investigated the use of in vivo micro-computed tomography (CT) imaging techniques as a non-invasive method to assess the progression stages of NAFLD, focusing predominantly on the hepatic vascular network due to its significant involvement in NAFLD-related hepatic dysregulation. This imaging methodology allows for longitudinal analysis of liver steatosis and functional tissue uptake, as well as the evaluation of the relative blood volume, portal vein diameter, and density of the vascular network. Understanding the adaptations of the hepatic vascular network during NAFLD progression and correlating this with other ways of characterizing the disease progression (steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis) using the proposed method can pave the way toward the establishment of new, more efficient, and reproducible approaches for NAFLD research in mice. This protocol is also expected to upgrade the value of preclinical animal models for investigating the development of novel therapies against disease progression.


Keywords Micro CT Imaging

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