Biochemical and biophysical research communications

MRI measurement of blood-brain barrier transport with a rapid acquisition refocused echo (RARE) method.

PMID 25998382


Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) MRI is increasingly being used to assess changes in capillary permeability. Most quantitative techniques used to measure capillary permeability are based on the Fick equation that requires measurement of signal reflecting both plasma and tissue concentrations of the solute being tested. To date, most Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methods for acquiring appropriate data quickly rely on gradient recalled echo (GRE) type acquisitions, which work well in clinical low field settings. However, acquiring this type of data on high field small animal preclinical MRIs is problematic due to geometrical distortions from susceptibility mismatch. This problem can be exacerbated when using small animal models to measure blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability, where precise sampling from the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) is commonly used to determine the plasma concentration of the contrast agent. Here we present results demonstrating that a standard saturation recovery rapid acquisition refocused echo (RARE) method is capable of acquiring T1 maps with good spatial and temporal resolution for Patlak analysis (Patlak, 1983) to assess changes in BBB Gd-DTPA permeability following middle cerebral artery occlusion with reperfusion in the rat. This method limits known problems with magnetic susceptibility mismatch and may thus allow greater accuracy in BBB permeability measurement in small animals.