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Quantification of Mouse Renal Perfusion Using Arterial Spin Labeled MRI at 1 T

      Rationale and Objectives

      Quantitative measurement of renal perfusion in murine models provides important information on the organ physiology and disease states. The 1-T desktop magnetic resonance imaging has a small footprint and a self-contained fringe field. This resultant flexibility in siting makes the system ideal for preclinical imaging research. Our objective was to evaluate the capability of the 1-T desktop magnetic resonance imaging to measure mouse renal perfusion without the administration of exogenous contrast agents.

      Materials and Methods

      We implemented a flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR)-based arterial spin labeling sequence with a mouse volume coil on a 1-T desktop magnetic resonance scanner. The validity of the implementation was tested by comparing obtained renal perfusion results with literature values for normal mice and challenging the technique with mice treated with furosemide, a blood vessel vasoconstrictor drug.

      Results

      The measured cortical and medullary perfusions were quantified to be 402 ± 95 and 184 ± 52 mL/100 g/min, respectively, in agreement with literature values. The ratio of cortical to medullary renal blood flow was between 2 and 3 and was independent of the mouse weight. As expected, upon furosemide injection, a decrease (~50%) in cortical perfusion was observed in the mice population, at 1 hour post injection compared to baseline (P < 0.0001), which returned to baseline after 24 hours (P = 0.68).

      Conclusions

      We reported the successful application of FAIR-based arterial spin labeling for noncontrast perfusion measurement of mouse kidneys using a 1-T desktop scanner. The easy implementation of FAIR sequence on a 1-T desktop scanner offers the potential for longitudinal perfusion studies in limited access areas such as behind the barrier in mouse facilities and in multimodality preclinical imaging laboratories without the administration of exogenous contrast agents.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      ASL (arterial spin labeling), CI (confidence interval), FAIR (flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery), Gd (gadolinium), IP (intraperitoneal), MR (magnetic resonance), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), PET (positron emission tomography), PI (post injection), RBF (renal blood flow), ROI (region of interest), SNR (signal-to-noise ratio), TI (inversion time), T1 (longitudinal relaxation time)
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