Magnetic resonance imaging of hepatic neoplasms in the rat.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at microscopic resolution was done on a live rat that had chemically induced hepatic neoplasms. Beginning at the anterior aspect of the liver, 16 contiguous transaxial slices (each 1.25 mm thick) were produced using three-dimensional Fourier transform sequences. The rat had been treated with diethylnitrosamine (200 mg/kg) at 70 days of age, and, subsequently, received periodic implants of 17a-ethynylestradiol for 60 weeks. Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) sequences (repetition time = 2,000 and echo time = 20, 40, 60, 80 ms) were done to give quantitative measures of spin-spin relaxation times (T2). Pixel-by-pixel curve fitting from these multiple images yielded calculated T2 images. Histologic evaluation of three abnormal areas in the liver revealed solid and cystic hepatocellular adenomas. Although lesions were evident in early-echo images of the CPMG sequence, they were more apparent in the late-echo images. This was consistent with longer T2 relaxation times for the lesions. The voxels of dimensions (230 x 230 x 1,250 microns) permitted resolution of volume elements less than 0.07 mm3. This in turn permitted clear delineation of focal lesions less than 3 mm in diameter. The potential for MRI at microscopic resolution in toxicologic research is clearly demonstrated.
Johnson, GA; Thompson, MB; Cofer, GP; Campen, D; Maronpot, RR
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