To exploit the advantages of using rabbits for cardiac imaging research and to tackle the technical obstacles, efforts have been made under the framework of a doctoral research program. In this overview article, by cross-referencing the current literature, we summarize how we have developed a preclinical cardiac research platform based on modified models of reperfused myocardial infarction (MI) in rabbits; how the in vivo manifestations of cardiac imaging could be closely matched with those ex vivo macro- and microscopic findings; how these imaging outcomes could be quantitatively analyzed, validated and demonstrated; and how we could apply this cardiac imaging platform to provide possible solutions to certain lingering diagnostic and therapeutic problems in experimental cardiology. In particular, tissue components in acute cardiac ischemia have been stratified and characterized, post-infarct lipomatous metaplasia (LM) as a common but hardly illuminated clinical pathology has been identified in rabbit models, and a necrosis avid tracer as well as an anti-ischemic drug have been successfully assessed for their potential utilities in clinical cardiology. These outcomes may interest the researchers in the related fields and help strengthen translational research in cardiovascular diseases.
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