Introduction: To investigate the biodistribution and retention properties of the new super paramagnetic iron oxide (new SPIO: mean hydrodynamic diameter, 100 nm) nanoparticles, which have concentrated polymer brushes in the outer shell and are difficult for phagocytes to absorb, and to compare the new SPIO with clinically approved SPIO (Resovist: mean hydrodynamic diameter, 57 nm).
Materials and Methods: 16 male C57BL/6N mice were divided in two groups according to the administered SPIO (n = 8 for each group; intravenous injection does, 0.1 ml). In vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed before and one hour, one day, one week and four weeks after SPIO administration by two dimensional-the fast low angle shot (2D-FLASH) sequence at 11.7T. Ex vivo high-resolution images of fixed organs were also obtained by (2D-FLASH). After the ex vivo MRI, organs were sectioned and evaluated histologically to confirm the biodistribution of each particle precisely.
Results: The new SPIO was taken up in small amounts by liver Kupffer cells and showed a unique in vivo MRI contrast pattern in the kidneys, where the signal intensity decreased substantially in the boundaries between cortex and outer medulla and between outer and inner medulla. We found many round dark spots in the cortex by ex vivo MRI in both groups. Resovist could be detected almost in the cortex. The shapes of the dark spots were similar to those observed in the new SPIO group. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that Resovist and the new SPIO accumulated in different cells of glomeruli, that is, endothelial and mesangial cells, respectively.
Conclusion: The new SPIO was taken up in small amounts by liver tissue and showed a unique MRI contrast pattern in the kidney. The SPIO were found in the mesangial cells of renal corpuscles. Our results indicate that the new SPIO may be potentially be used as a new contrast agent for evaluation of kidney function as well as immunune function.
Purpose: To develop a new shimming calculation method, which can calculate iron piece placements rapidly to make the magnetic field homogeneous at intended homogeneity and then to make the shimming working time short.
Materials and Methods: The shimming calculation yields magnetic moment (MM) distribution, which is calculated by the truncated singular value decomposition (SVD) from the measured magnetic field. The MM distribution is described by a superposition of eigenmodes obtained by SVD of a response matrix from the moment distributions to magnetic fields at the field of view (FOV). The homogeneity is regulated by a truncation number of the superposed eigenmodes. The magnetic moments are converted into iron volumes with the assumption of saturated magnetization and the iron pieces are placed according to the calculation results. Since the SVD calculation can be done in advance, the computational time at the shimming site is short.
Results: Trial applications on a 0.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnet were done using the new shimming calculation method, which was proved to work well. However, since the iron piece volumes had tolerances, the work was repeated until enough homogeneity was obtained. As a result, an intended homogeneity of 8.9 ppm (peak-to-peak) on 40 cm diameter spherical surface was successfully obtained from measured homogeneity of 543 ppm with short computational and working time.
Conclusion: The test shimming work showed that the developed shimming calculation method with truncated SVD regularization is applicable to the shimming work on the MRI magnets.
Purpose: Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder with various clinical presentations. Mutation of the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) gene is considered to be a cause of this autosomal dominant disorder. The purpose of this study was to report magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) findings in patients with HDLS and asymptomatic carriers and to clarify the use of MRS in this disease.
Materials and Methods: In this retrospective, institutional review board-approved study, we included four consecutive patients, genetically diagnosed with HDLS, and two asymptomatic carriers after acquiring informed consent. We performed single-voxel MRS of the left centrum semiovale on a 3-T clinical scanner. We also included a sex-matched normal dataset. We quantified N-acetylaspartate (NAA), creatine, choline-containing compounds (Cho), glutamine, glutamate (Glu), myo-inositol (Ins), glutathione, lactate (Lac), and gamma-amino butyric acid using LCModel. We performed statistical analysis, and P value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: In HDLS cases, MRS revealed decreased NAA and Glu concentrations, which probably reflected neuronal damage and/or loss, and a subsequent reduction of neurotransmitters. A patient with HDLS also had increased Cho and Ins concentrations, indicating gliosis, and increased Cho concentration was also observed in an asymptomatic carrier. This suggests that metabolic changes had already occurred in an asymptomatic state.
Conclusion: We demonstrated changes in metabolite concentrations not only in patients with HDLS but also in asymptomatic CSF1R mutation carriers. Our study indicates that MRS is a potentially useful tool for the analysis of metabolic and pathophysiological findings of HDLS, even during the early stages of disease.
Purpose: The medial medullary lamina (MML) separates the medial globus pallidus (GPm) from the lateral. The aim of this study was to assess the changes in appearance of MML related to age using the phase difference-enhanced (PADRE) imaging and to determine whether PADRE can depict the MML in the patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Materials and Methods: We enrolled 20 patients with PD and 50 normal control subjects (NC). First, for the visualization of the MML in the NC, we compared the PADRE, susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI)-like images and T2 weighted imaging (WI) by using multiple comparison. The grading methods are as follows: grade 1; MML was not delineated, grade 2; less than half of MML was delineated, grade 3; more than half of MML was delineated and grade 4; whole MML was clearly delineated. We determined grade 3 and 4 as good depiction, delineating the GPm. Then, we evaluated patients with PD using the same method.
Results: In NC, the delineation of MML was good in 84% of cases on PADRE, but only 34% of cases showed a good depiction on SWI-like images (average grading score 3.31 vs 2.11, P < 0.05). No MML was delineated in all cases on T2 WI. Although younger subjects tended to show whole MML clearly, a part of MML tends to be obscured with age on PADRE. In patients with PD the depiction of MML on PADRE was also good in 90% of cases.
Conclusion: The PADRE technique facilitates the depiction of the MML within globus pallidus (GP) on a broad range of age NC and patients with PD and it is superior to SWI-like images and T2 WI.
Introduction: We aim to elucidate the effect of spatial resolution of three-dimensional cine phase contrast magnetic resonance (3D cine PC MR) imaging on the accuracy of the blood flow analysis, and examine the optimal setting for spatial resolution using flow phantoms.
Materials and Methods: The flow phantom has five types of acrylic pipes that represent human blood vessels (inner diameters: 15, 12, 9, 6, and 3 mm). The pipes were fixed with 1% agarose containing 0.025 mol/L gadolinium contrast agent. A blood-mimicking fluid with human blood property values was circulated through the pipes at a steady flow. Magnetic resonance (MR) images (three-directional phase images with speed information and magnitude images for information of shape) were acquired using the 3-Tesla MR system and receiving coil. Temporal changes in spatially-averaged velocity and maximum velocity were calculated using hemodynamic analysis software. We calculated the error rates of the flow velocities based on the volume flow rates measured with a flowmeter and examined measurement accuracy.
Results: When the acrylic pipe was the size of the thoracicoabdominal or cervical artery and the ratio of pixel size for the pipe was set at 30% or lower, spatially-averaged velocity measurements were highly accurate. When the pixel size ratio was set at 10% or lower, maximum velocity could be measured with high accuracy. It was difficult to accurately measure maximum velocity of the 3-mm pipe, which was the size of an intracranial major artery, but the error for spatially-averaged velocity was 20% or less.
Conclusions: Flow velocity measurement accuracy of 3D cine PC MR imaging for pipes with inner sizes equivalent to vessels in the cervical and thoracicoabdominal arteries is good. The flow velocity accuracy for the pipe with a 3-mm-diameter that is equivalent to major intracranial arteries is poor for maximum velocity, but it is relatively good for spatially-averaged velocity.
Purpose: Our aims were to determine the feasibility of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) in the detection of bone marrow edema (BME) and explore the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) alterations in patients with osteitis pubis (OP).
Materials and Methods: 42 consecutive patients clinically suspected to have athletic pubalgia and 31 control subjects were enrolled in the study. All subjects underwent diagnostic focused magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and DWI at b values of 0 and 600 s/mm2. Two radiologists reviewed the images for the presence of active OP. The presence of subchondral BME and contrast enhancement were considered to indicate active OP. ADC values were measured from public bodies of both groups. DWI results were correlated with routine MRI findings. Receiver-operating-characteristic curves were formed. Cut-off values for ADC, sensitivity and specificity values were measured.
Results: 36/42 (85%) of the cases had BME/enhancement on routine MRIs and identified as active OP. ADC measurements of the patients were greater than the controls (P < 0.05). For the optimal cut-off values DWI showed sensitivity and specificity values of 97.3%, and 90.3%, for the right, and 97.1%, and 96.7% for the left side, respectively (Area under the curve 0.965 and 0.973). Intra-and inter-rater reliability for readers were substantial-perfect for all sessions.
Conclusion: DWI is fast, accurate, and highly reproducible technique for the detection of BME in patients with active OP. It allows distinct bone marrow contrast without the use of gadolinium contrast, increases visual perception of active lesions, gives objective information by quantifying the diffusion coefficients, thus increase diagnostic confidence. We suggest the use of DWI as a cost-effective adjunctive tool for the diagnosis of active OP particularly in early cases and inconclusive diagnostic MRI. Future studies are necessary to determine the utility of DWI to evaluate severity of the disease and treatment response before returning athletes to play.
Purpose: Although the neonatal and infantile brain typically shows sequential T1 shortening according to gestational age as a result of myelination, several structures do not follow this rule. We evaluated the relationship between the signal intensity of various structures in the neonatal and infantile brain on T1-weighted imaging (T1WI) and either postnatal or gestational age.
Materials and Methods: We examined magnetic resonance images from 120 newborns and infants without any abnormalities in the central nervous system. Written informed consent was obtained from all parents and the institutional review board approved the study. Gestational age at examination ranged from 35 weeks, 3 days to 46 weeks, 6 days, and postnatal age ranged from 7 days to 127 days. Signal intensity on T1WI was evaluated on a scale from Grade 1 (indistinguishable from surrounding structures) to Grade 4 (higher than cortex and close to fat). We evaluated relationships between the T1 signal grades of various structures in the neonatal brain and postnatal or gestational age using Spearman’s correlation analysis.
Results: Significant positive correlations were identified between T1 signal grade and gestational age in the pyramidal tract (P < 0.001). Conversely, significant negative correlations were evident between T1 signal grade and postnatal age (P < 0.001), in structures including the stria medullaris thalami, fornix cerebellar vermis, dentate nucleus and anterior pituitary gland.
Conclusion: Significant negative correlations exist between signal intensity on T1WI and postnatal age in some structures of the neonatal and infantile brain. Some mechanisms other than myelination might play roles in the course of signal appearance.
Purpose: To determine whether high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) acquisitions improve the repeatability of liver proton density fat fraction (PDFF) measurements using confounder-corrected chemical shift-encoded magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (CSE-MRI).
Materials and Methods: Eleven fat-water phantoms were scanned with 8 different protocols with varying SNR. After repositioning the phantoms, the same scans were repeated to evaluate the test-retest repeatability. Next, an in vivo study was performed with 20 volunteers and 28 patients scheduled for liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Two CSE-MRI protocols with standard- and high-SNR were repeated to assess test-retest repeatability. MR spectroscopy (MRS)-based PDFF was acquired as a standard of reference. The standard deviation (SD) of the difference (Δ) of PDFF measured in the two repeated scans was defined to ascertain repeatability. The correlation between PDFF of CSE-MRI and MRS was calculated to assess accuracy. The SD of Δ and correlation coefficients of the two protocols (standard- and high-SNR) were compared using F-test and t-test, respectively. Two reconstruction algorithms (complex-based and magnitude-based) were used for both the phantom and in vivo experiments.
Results: The phantom study demonstrated that higher SNR improved the repeatability for both complex- and magnitude-based reconstruction. Similarly, the in vivo study demonstrated that the repeatability of the high-SNR protocol (SD of Δ = 0.53 for complex- and = 0.85 for magnitude-based fit) was significantly higher than using the standard-SNR protocol (0.77 for complex, P < 0.001; and 0.94 for magnitude-based fit, P = 0.003). No significant difference was observed in the accuracy between standard- and high-SNR protocols.
Conclusion: Higher SNR improves the repeatability of fat quantification using confounder-corrected CSE-MRI.
Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique for noninvasively estimating the magnetic susceptibility of biological tissue. Several methods for QSM have been proposed. One of these methods can estimate susceptibility with high accuracy in tissues whose contrast is consistent between magnitude images and susceptibility maps, such as deep gray-matter nuclei. However, the susceptibility of small veins is underestimated and not well depicted by using the above approach, because the contrast of small veins is inconsistent between a magnitude image and a susceptibility map. In order to improve the estimation accuracy and visibility of small veins without streaking artifacts, a method with multiple dipole-inversion combination with k-space segmentation (MUDICK) has been proposed. In the proposed method, k-space was divided into three domains (low-frequency, magic-angle, and high-frequency). The k-space data in low-frequency and magic-angle domains were obtained by L1-norm regularization using structural information of a pre-estimated susceptibility map. The k-space data in high-frequency domain were obtained from the pre-estimated susceptibility map in order to preserve small-vein contrasts. Using numerical simulation and human brain study at 3 Tesla, streaking artifacts and small-vein susceptibility were compared between MUDICK and conventional methods (MEDI and TKD). The numerical simulation and human brain study showed that MUDICK and MEDI had no severe streaking artifacts and MUDICK showed higher contrast and accuracy of susceptibility in small-veins compared to MEDI. These results suggest that MUDICK can improve the accuracy and visibility of susceptibility in small-veins without severe streaking artifacts.
Sweep imaging with Fourier transform (SWIFT) method has been developed to image tissues with very short T2 values, such as cortical bone. The purpose of this study was to measure the T1 value of the rat cortical bone. It was approximately 120 ms on 7.04T. This result could thus be useful for studying bony tissue according to the SWIFT method in the future.
To improve the imaging protocol for the evaluation of endolymphatic hydrops after intravenous administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent, we modified our previously reported hybrid of reversed image of positive endolymph signal and native image of positive perilymph signal (HYDROPS) method. Although the scan time of the new protocol was half that of the previous one, there were no significant differences between two protocols in the mean contrast noise ratio between the endolymph and perilymph and the area ratio of the endolymph size values in nine patients.