Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 15, 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 20 > Feasibility of In Vivo Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imagi...
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doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31829ef69c
Basic Science

Feasibility of In Vivo Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging With Diffusion Weighted Imaging, T2-Weighted Relaxometry, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging in a Clinical 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Scanner for the Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury of Rats: Technical Note

Mondragon-Lozano, Rodrigo MSc*; Diaz-Ruiz, Araceli PhD; Ríos, Camilo PhD†,‡; Olayo Gonzalez, Roberto PhD§; Favila, Rafael MSc; Salgado-Ceballos, Hermelinda PhD; Roldan-Valadez, Ernesto MD, MSc**

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Abstract

Study Design. Prospective longitudinal study.

Objective. To verify the feasibility of performing in vivo quantitative magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of moderate traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats using a clinical 3T scanner.

Summary of Background Data. Animal models of human diseases are essential for translational medicine. Potential treatments of SCI are evaluated in 2 ways: anatomical and functional. Advanced magnetic resonance sequences allow a noninvasive assessment of the spinal cord depicting both. This study describes and validates a very reproducible, feasible, affordable, and reliable method, designed to be applied in commercial 3T equipment, using a novel stereotactic device for spinal cord, leading to a readily available assessment of the progression of damage generated after traumatic SCI in rats.

Methods. Four Long-Evans female rats were injured with a New York University weight-drop device to produce the SCI by contusion at thoracic level 10. All animals were placed in a fixation system, using a commercial wrist antenna to obtain magnetic resonance imaging data of the relaxometry time, apparent diffusion coefficient, and fractional anisotropy. Three sets of data obtained before SCI and 1 and 4 weeks after injury were compared.

Results. The data showed a progressive decline in fractional anisotropy measurements after SCI comparing baseline versus the 1-week period (P < 0.001) and baseline versus the 4-week period (P < 0.019), with a significant progressive increase in apparent diffusion coefficient values and T2 after SCI only in the baseline versus the 4-week period (P < 0.045 and P < 0.024, respectively).

Conclusion. Our results helped us to validate a novel method to acquire highly reproducible and reliable quantitative biomarkers of traumatic SCI in vivo by using a 3T clinical MR scanner coupled with a novel stereotactic device for rats.

Level of Evidence: N/A

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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