Assessment of the epi-pericardial fibrotic substrate by collagen-targeted probes

Martin Ezeani, Asif Noor, Paul S. Donnelly, Be'eri Niego, Christoph E. Hagemeyer

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Abstract

The identification of the fibrotic arrhythmogenic substrate as a means of improving the diagnosis and prediction of atrial fibrillation has been a focus of research for many years. The relationship between the degree of atrial fibrosis as a major component of atrial cardiomyopathy and the recurrence of arrhythmia after AF ablation can correlate. While the focus in identification and characterisation of this substrate has been centred on the atrial wall and the evaluation of atrial scar and extracellular matrix (ECM) expansion by late gadolinium-enhancement (LGE) on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI), LGE cannot visualise diffuse fibrosis and diffuse extravasation of gadolinium. The atrial pericardium is a fine avascular fibrous membranous sac that encloses the atrial wall, which can undergo remodelling leading to atrial disease and AF. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the detection of its fibrocalcification, impact on arrhythmogenesis and, most importantly, on the potential prothrombotic role of epi-pericardial remodelling in generation of emboli. We have recently reported that tracers against collagen I and IV can provide a direct assessment of the ECM, and thus can estimate fibrotic burden with high sensitivity. Here, we show the ability of these optical tracers to identify epi-pericardial fibrosis, as well as to demonstrate subtle interstitial fibrosis of the atrial wall in a mouse model of beta-2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) cardiac overexpression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5702
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2022

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