High-resolution magnetic resonance angiography in the mouse using a nanoparticle blood-pool contrast agent.
High-resolution magnetic resonance angiography is already a useful tool for studying mouse models of human disease. Magnetic resonance angiography in the mouse is typically performed using time-of-flight contrast. In this work, a new long-circulating blood-pool contrast agent-a liposomal nanoparticle with surface-conjugated gadolinium (SC-Gd liposomes)-was evaluated for use in mouse neurovascular magnetic resonance angiography. A total of 12 mice were imaged. Scan parameters were optimized for both time-of-flight and SC-Gd contrast. Compared to time-of-flight contrast, SC-Gd liposomes (0.08 mmol/kg) enabled improved small-vessel contrast-to-noise ratio, larger field of view, shorter scan time, and imaging of venous structures. For a limited field of view, time-of-flight and SC-Gd were not significantly different; however, SC-Gd provided better contrast-to-noise ratio when the field of view encompassed the whole brain (P < 0.001) or the whole neurovascular axis (P < 0.001). SC-Gd allowed acquisition of high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography (52 x 52 x 100 micrometer(3) or 0.27 nL), with 123% higher (P < 0.001) contrast-to-noise ratio in comparable scan time ( approximately 45 min). Alternatively, SC-Gd liposomes could be used to acquire high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography (0.27 nL) with 32% higher contrast-to-noise ratio (P < 0.001) in 75% shorter scan time (12 min).
Howles, GP; Ghaghada, KB; Qi, Y; Mukundan, S; Johnson, GA
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