Magnetic resonance microscopy of the rat thorax and abdomen.
With magnetic resonance (MR) microscopy, high-resolution volumetric imaging (3DFT) of small animals is possible. Although these techniques are suitable for imaging the head and other small stationary objects, breathing and cardiac motion degrade the quality of body images. Scan synchronous ventilation and cardiac gating methods have been developed that permit acquisition of high-resolution images from anywhere in the body of small animals (150 to 400 g). Anesthetized rats were ventilated in synchrony with three-dimensional Fourier spin warp (3DFT) sequence (TR = 400 to 1000 ms, TE = 20 ms). Eight or 16 slices (1.2 or 2.5 mm thick) were acquired simultaneously. Effective pixel size was 200 X 200 mu. Imaging was performed in a 1.5 T, 1-m bore research system using a 28-cm diameter high field gradient coil and a 6-cm diameter radio frequency coil. For thoracic imaging, acquisitions were gated to the QRS of the ECG. Scan synchronous ventilation eliminated breathing motion artifacts and permitted visualization of peripheral vascular structures in the lung and liver. In images that were also cardiac gated, cardiac chambers and major thoracic vessels, including the coronary arteries, were well demonstrated. Thus, thoroughly characterized rodent models can now be studied with MR not only to explore noninvasively the intricacies of mammalian pathomorphology, but also to test the capabilities of MR and aid in interpreting MR data.
Hedlund, LW; Johnson, GA; Mills, GI
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