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Cardiac-specific overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-B167 is known to induce left ventricular hypertrophy due to altered lipid metabolism, in which ceramides accumulate to the heart and cause mitochondrial damage. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare different imaging methods to find the most sensitive way to diagnose at early stage the progressive left ventricular remodeling leading to heart failure. Echocardiography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging were compared for imaging the hearts of transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of VEGF-B167 and wild-type mice from 5 to 14 months of age at several time points. Disease progression was verified by molecular biology methods and histology. We showed that left ventricular remodeling is already ongoing at the age of 5 months in transgenic mice leading to heart failure by the age of 14 months. Measurements from echocardiography and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging revealed similar changes in cardiac structure and function in the transgenic mice. Changes in histology, gene expressions, and electrocardiography supported the progression of left ventricular hypertrophy. Longitudinal relaxation time in rotating frame (T1ρ ) in cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging could be suitable for detecting severe fibrosis in the heart. We conclude that cardiac-specific overexpression of VEGF-B167 leads to left ventricular remodeling at early age and is a suitable model to study heart failure development with different imaging methods.

Original publication




Journal article


Physiol Rep

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Cardiovascular imaging, heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy, mouse ECG, vascular endothelial growth factor ‐B