MRI measurement of blood-brain barrier permeability following spontaneous reperfusion in the starch microsphere model of ischemia

N G Harris, V Gauden, P A Fraser, S R Williams, G J M Parker

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Quantification of the acute increases in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability that occur subsequent to experimental ischemic injury has been limited to single time-point, invasive methodologies. Although permeability can be qualitatively assessed to visualise regional changes during sequential studies on the same animal using contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), quantitative information on the magnitude of change is required to compare barrier function during sequential studies on the same animal or between different animals. Recently, improvements in MRI tracer kinetic models and in MR hardware design mean that an estimate of permeability in vivo can now be obtained with acceptable accuracy and precision, We report here the use of such methods to study acute changes following spontaneous reperfusion in an animal model of ischemia. We have obtained estimates of BBB permeability following spontaneous reperfusion, subsequent to forebrain ischemia by unilateral carotid injection of starch microspheres in the rat. T2*-weighted and diffusion-trace imaging were used to monitor the initial reduction in CBF and the time-course of ischemia, respectively. Following reperfusion, an intraveneous bolus of dimeglumine gadopentetate (Gd-DTPA) and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was given during a continuous acquisition of T1 maps with a 48s temporal resolution. Permeability maps were constructed using a 4-compartment model; K-trans, the permeability-surface area product of the capillary walls was estimated to be 9.2 +/- 0.6 x 10(-4) min(-1) in the cortex. Visualisation of the regional extent of HRP extravasation on histological sections following termination of the experiment demonstrated very little correspondence to the region of Gd-DTPA leakage. Quantitative MRI assessment of BBB permeability following ischemia-reperfusion is consistent with published values obtained by invasive methods. Differences between Gd-DTPA-enhancement and HRP may reflect differences in the molecular size of the tracers. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221 - 230
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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