Perfusion of the placenta assessed using arterial spin labeling and ferumoxytol dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in the rhesus macaque.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:To investigate the correspondence between arterial spin labeling (ASL) flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) and ferumoxytol DCE MRI for the assessment of placental intervillous perfusion. METHODS:Ten pregnant macaques in late second trimester were imaged at 3 T using a 2D ASL FAIR, with and without outer-volume saturation pulses used to control the bolus width, and a 3D ferumoxytol DCE-MRI acquisition. The ASL tagged/control pairs were averaged, subtracted, and normalized to create perfusion ratio maps. Contrast arrival time and uptake slope were estimated by fitting the DCE data to a sigmoid function. Macaques (N = 4) received interleukin-1? to induce inflammation and disrupt perfusion. RESULTS:The FAIR tag modification with outer-volume saturation reduced the median ASL ratio percentage compared with conventional FAIR (0.64% ± 1.42% versus 0.71% ± 2.00%; P < .05). Extended ferumoxytol arrival times (34 ± 25 seconds) were observed across the placenta. No significant DCE signal change was measured in fetal tissue ( - 0.6% ± 3.0%; P = .52) or amniotic fluid (1.9% ± 8.8%; P = .59). High ASL ratio was significantly correlated with early arrival time and high uptake slope (P < .05), but ASL signal was not above noise in late-DCE-enhancing regions. No significant differences were observed in perfusion measurements between the interleukin-1? and controls (P > .05). CONCLUSION:The ASL-FAIR and ferumoxytol DCE-MRI methods are feasible to detect early blood delivery to the macaque placenta. Outer volume saturation reduced the high macrovascular ASL signal. Interleukin-1? exposure did not alter placental intervillous perfusion. An endogenous-labeling perfusion technique is limited due to extended transit times for flow within the placenta beyond the immediate vicinity of the maternal spiral arteries.
Project description:We investigated the feasibility and reproducibility of free-breathing motion-corrected multiple inversion time (multi-TI) pulsed renal arterial spin labelling (PASL), with general kinetic model parametric mapping, to simultaneously quantify renal perfusion (RBF), bolus arrival time (BAT) and tissue T1.In a study approved by the Health Research Authority, 12 healthy volunteers (mean age, 27.6 ± 18.5 years; 5 male) gave informed consent for renal imaging at 3 T using multi-TI ASL and conventional single-TI ASL. Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) was used as a vasodilator challenge in six subjects. Flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) preparation was used with background suppression and 3D-GRASE (gradient and spin echo) read-out, and images were motion-corrected. Parametric maps of RBF, BAT and T1 were derived for both kidneys. Agreement was assessed using Pearson correlation and Bland-Altman plots.Inter-study correlation of whole-kidney RBF was good for both single-TI (r2 = 0.90), and multi-TI ASL (r2 = 0.92). Single-TI ASL gave a higher estimate of whole-kidney RBF compared to multi-TI ASL (mean bias, 29.3 ml/min/100 g; p <0.001). Using multi-TI ASL, the median T1 of renal cortex was shorter than that of medulla (799.6 ms vs 807.1 ms, p = 0.01), and mean whole-kidney BAT was 269.7 ± 56.5 ms. GTN had an effect on systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05) but the change in RBF was not significant.Free-breathing multi-TI renal ASL is feasible and reproducible at 3 T, providing simultaneous measurement of renal perfusion, haemodynamic parameters and tissue characteristics at baseline and during pharmacological challenge.• Multiple inversion time arterial spin labelling (ASL) of the kidneys is feasible and reproducible at 3 T. • This approach allows simultaneous mapping of renal perfusion, bolus arrival time and tissue T 1 during free breathing. • This technique enables repeated measures of renal haemodynamic characteristics during pharmacological challenge.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The uteroplacental vascular supply is a critical determinant of placental function and fetal growth. Current methods for the in vivo assessment of placental blood flow are limited. OBJECTIVE:We demonstrate the feasibility of the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging to visualize and quantify perfusion kinetics in the intervillous space of the primate placenta. STUDY DESIGN:Pregnant Japanese macaques were studied at mid second trimester and in the early third trimester. Markers of injury were assessed in placenta samples from animals with or without contrast-enhanced ultrasound exposure (n = 6/group). Human subjects were recruited immediately before scheduled first-trimester pregnancy termination. All studies were performed with maternal intravenous infusion of lipid-shelled octofluoropropane microbubbles with image acquisition with a multipulse contrast-specific algorithm with destruction-replenishment analysis of signal intensity for assessment of perfusion. RESULTS:In macaques, the rate of perfusion in the intervillous space was increased with advancing gestation. No evidence of microvascular hemorrhage or acute inflammation was found in placental villous tissue and expression levels of caspase-3, nitrotyrosine and heat shock protein 70 as markers of apoptosis, nitrative, and oxidative stress, respectively, were unchanged by contrast-enhanced ultrasound exposure. In humans, placental perfusion was visualized at 11 weeks gestation, and preliminary data reveal regional differences in intervillous space perfusion within an individual placenta. By electron microscopy, we demonstrate no evidence of ultrastructure damage to the microvilli on the syncytiotrophoblast after first-trimester ultrasound studies. CONCLUSIONS:Use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound did not result in placental structural damage and was able to identify intervillous space perfusion rate differences within a placenta. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging may offer a safe clinical tool for the identification of pregnancies that are at risk for vascular insufficiency; early recognition may facilitate intervention and improved pregnancy outcomes.
Project description:To validate DCE MRI method of placental perfusion estimation and to demonstrate application of the method in a rabbit model of fetal antenatal hypoxia-ischemia.Placental perfusion was estimated by dynamic contrast imaging with bolus injection of Gd-DTPA in 3 Tesla GE magnet in a rabbit model of placental ischemia-reperfusion in rabbit dams at embryonic day 25 gestation age. Placental perfusion was measured using steepest slope method on DCE MRI before and after intermittent 40 min uterine ischemia. Antioxidants (n = 2 dams, 9 placentas imaged) or vehicle (n = 5 dams, 23 placenta imaged) were given systemically in a separate group of dams during reperfusion-reoxygenation. Placental perfusion was also measured in two dams from the antioxidant group (10 placentas) and two dams from the control group (12 placentas) by fluorescent microspheres method.While placental perfusion estimates between fluorescent microspheres and DCE MRI were significantly correlated (R(2) = 0.85; P < 0.01), there was approximately 33% systematic underestimation by the latter technique. DCE MRI showed a significant decrease in maternal placental perfusion in reperfusion-reoxygenation phase in the saline, 0.44 ± 0.06 mL/min/g (P = 0.012, t-test), but not in the antioxidant group, 0.62 ± 0.06 mL/min/g, relative to pre-occlusion values (0.77 ± 0.07 and 0.84 ± 0.12 mL/min/g, correspondingly).Underestimation of true perfusion in placenta by steepest slope DCE MRI is significant and the error appears to be systematic.
Project description:Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is a valuable non-contrast perfusion MRI technique with numerous clinical applications. Many previous ASL MRI studies have utilized either echo-planar imaging (EPI) or true fast imaging with steady-state free precession (true FISP) readouts, which are prone to off-resonance artifacts on high-field MRI scanners. We have developed a rapid ASL-FISP MRI acquisition for high-field preclinical MRI scanners providing perfusion-weighted images with little or no artifacts in less than 2 s. In this initial implementation, a flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) ASL preparation was combined with a rapid, centrically encoded FISP readout. Validation studies on healthy C57/BL6 mice provided consistent estimation of in vivo mouse brain perfusion at 7 and 9.4 T (249 ± 38 and 241 ± 17 mL/min/100 g, respectively). The utility of this method was further demonstrated in the detection of significant perfusion deficits in a C57/BL6 mouse model of ischemic stroke. Reasonable kidney perfusion estimates were also obtained for a healthy C57/BL6 mouse exhibiting differential perfusion in the renal cortex and medulla. Overall, the ASL-FISP technique provides a rapid and quantitative in vivo assessment of tissue perfusion for high-field MRI scanners with minimal image artifacts.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has the potential to noninvasively provide information about the tumor microenvironment. A correlation between arterial spin-labeled (ASL) MRI and tumor vasculature has been previously demonstrated; however, its correlation with tumor cellularity is unknown. We sought to assess intratumor heterogeneity of perfusion and diffusion in vivo in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) using MRI and to correlate these findings with tumor vascularity and cellularity at histopathology.Twenty-three ccRCC patients underwent ASL and diffusion-weighted MRI before surgery after signing an informed consent in this prospective institutional review board-approved, HIPAA (Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)-compliant study. Quantitative ASL perfusion and diffusion were measured in 2 areas within the same tumor with high and low perfusion. Microvessel density (MVD) on CD31 and CD34 immunostains and tumor cellularity in anatomically coregistered tissue samples were correlated to MRI measurements (Spearman; P < .05 statistically significant).ASL perfusion (P < .0001), CD31 MVD (P = .02), CD34 MVD (P = .04), and cellularity (P = .002) from high and low perfusion areas were significantly different across all tumors. There were positive correlations between tumor cellularity and CD31 MVD (? = 0.350, P = .021), CD31 and CD34 MVD (? = 0.838, P < .0001), ASL perfusion and cellularity (? = 0.406, P = .011), and ASL perfusion and CD31 MVD (? = 0.468, P = .003), and a negative correlation between tissue diffusion coefficient and cellularity (? = -0.316, P = .039).Tumor areas with high ASL perfusion exhibit higher cellularity and MVD compared to areas with low perfusion in the same tumor. A positive correlation between tumor vascularity and cellularity in ccRCC is newly reported. A negative correlation between tumor diffusion and cellularity is confirmed.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To compare the most commonly used labeling approaches, flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) and pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL), for renal perfusion measurement using arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI. METHODS:Multi-delay FAIR and pCASL were performed in 16 middle-aged healthy volunteers on two different occasions at 3T. Relative perfusion-weighted signal (PWS), temporal SNR (tSNR), renal blood flow (RBF), and arterial transit time (ATT) were calculated for the cortex and medulla in both kidneys. Bland-Altman plots, intra-class correlation coefficient, and within-subject coefficient of variation were used to assess reliability and agreement between measurements. RESULTS:For the first visit, RBF was 362?±?57 and 140?±?47 mL/min/100 g, and ATT was 0.47?±?0.13 and 0.70?±?0.10 s in cortex and medulla, respectively, using FAIR; RBF was 201?±?72 and 84?±?27 mL/min/100 g, and ATT was 0.71?±?0.25 and 0.86?±?0.12 s in cortex and medulla, respectively, using pCASL. For both labeling approaches, RBF and ATT values were not significantly different between visits. Overall, FAIR showed higher PWS and tSNR. Moreover, repeatability of perfusion parameters was better using FAIR. DISCUSSION:This study showed that compared to (balanced) pCASL, FAIR perfusion values were significantly higher and more comparable between visits.
Project description:Optoacoustic imaging (OAI) can detect haemoglobin and assess its oxygenation. However, the lack of a haemoglobin signal need not indicate a lack of perfusion. This study uses a novel method to assist the co-registration of optoacoustic images with dynamic contrast enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) images to demonstrate, in preclinical tumour models, the value of combining haemoglobin imaging with a perfusion imaging method, showing that a lack of a haemoglobin signal does not necessarily indicate an absence of perfusion. DCE-US was chosen for this particular experiment because US is extremely sensitive to microbubble contrast agents and because microbubbles, like red blood cells but unlike currently available optical contrast agents, do not extravasate. Significant spatial correlations were revealed between the DCE-US properties and tumour blood-oxygen saturation and haemoglobin, as estimated using OAI. It is speculated that DCE-US properties could be applied as surrogate biomarkers for hypoxia when planning clinical radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Project description:Arterial spin labeling (ASL) sequences that incorporate multiple postlabeling delay (PLD) times allow estimation of when arterial blood signal arrives within a region of interest. Sequences that account for such variability may improve the reliability of ASL and therefore make the technique well suited for future clinical and experimental investigations of cerebral perfusion. This study assessed the within- and between-session reproducibility of an optimized pseudo-continuous ASL (pCASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) sequence that incorporates multiple postlabeling delays (multi-PLD pCASL). Healthy subjects underwent four identical scans separated by 30?minutes, 1 week, and 1 month using multi-PLD pCASL to image absolute perfusion (cerebral blood flow (CBF) and arterial arrival time (AAT)) during both rest and a visual-cued motor task. We show good test-retest reliability, with strong consistency across subjects and sessions during rest (inter-session within-subject coefficient of variation: gray matter (GM) CBF=6.44%; GM AAT=2.20%). We also report high sensitivity and reproducibility during the functional task, where we show robust task-related decreases in AAT corresponding with regions of increased CBF. Importantly, these results give insight into optimal PLD selection for future investigations using single-PLD ASL to image different brain regions, and highlight the necessity of multi-PLD ASL when imaging perfusion in the whole brain.