2018 Volume 17 Issue 4 Pages 318-324
Purpose: Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion model mice were created by unilateral common carotid artery occlusion (UCCAO) surgery, which does not cause cerebral infarction, but which does cause long-term reduction in cerebral blood flow (CBF) to the occluded side. Cognitive dysfunction in this mouse model has been demonstrated in behavioral experiments, but neuron density change was not found in a previous positron emission tomography (PET) study. As a next step, in this study we investigated the injury of neuronal fibers in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion model mice using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Methods: In diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), not only the diffusion of water but also the capillary flow in the voxel, i.e., intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM), contributes to the signal. Thus, we used DTI to evaluate DWI signal changes in the brains of chronic hypoperfusion model mice at 4 weeks after UCCAO while monitoring the possible influence of CBF change using arterial spin-labeling (ASL) MRI.
Results: Simple t-tests indicated that there were significant differences in CBF between the control and occluded sides of the brain, but there was no significant difference for the mean diffusivity (MD) or fractional anisotropy (FA). However, as Pearson correlation analysis showed that MD was strongly correlated with CBF, analysis-of-covariance (ANCOVA) was then performed using CBF as a covariate and a significant difference in MD between the contra- and ipsilateral sides was found. Performing a similar procedure for the FA found no significant differences.
Conclusion: The results suggest the injury of neuronal fibers due to chronic hypoperfusion. It is also suggested that CBF-related signal changes should be considered when DWI-based information is used for pathological diagnosis.