After Kanda’s first report in 2014 on gadolinium (Gd) deposition in brain tissue, a considerable number of studies have investigated the explanation for the observation. Gd deposition in brain tissue after repeated administration of gadolinium-based contrast medium (GBCM) has been histologically proven, and chelate stability has been shown to affect the deposition. However, the mechanism for this deposition has not been fully elucidated. Recently, a hypothesis was introduced that involves the ‘glymphatic system’, which is a coined word that combines ‘gl’ for glia cell and ‘lymphatic’ system. According to this hypothesis, the perivascular space functions as a conduit for cerebrospinal fluid to flow into the brain parenchyma. The perivascular space around the arteries allows cerebrospinal fluid to enter the interstitial space of the brain tissue through water channels controlled by aquaporin 4. The cerebrospinal fluid entering the interstitial space clears waste proteins from the tissue. It then flows into the perivascular space around the vein and is discharged outside the brain. In addition to the hypothesis regarding the glymphatic system, some reports have described that after GBCM administration, some of the GBCM distributes through systemic blood circulation and remains in other compartments including the cerebrospinal fluid. It is thought that the GBCM distributed into the cerebrospinal fluid cavity via the glymphatic system may remain in brain tissue for a longer duration compared to the GBCM in systemic circulation. Glymphatic system may of course act as a clearance system for GBCM from brain tissue. Based on these findings, the mechanism for Gd deposition in the brain will be discussed in this review. The authors speculate that the glymphatic system may be the major contributory factor to the deposition and clearance of gadolinium in brain tissue.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common myocardial genetic disease having a wide variety of symptoms and prognoses. The most serious complications of HCM are sudden cardiac death induced by ventricular arrhythmia or inappropriate changes in blood pressure, and heart failure. Cardiac MR imaging is a valuable imaging method for detecting HCM because of its accurate measurement of wall thickness and myocardial mass without limited view and the unique ability of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) to identify myocardial fibrosis related to the prognosis of HCM. Tagging and T1 or T2 mapping MR imaging techniques have emerged as quantitative methods for the evaluation of disease severity. In this review, we introduce the MR imaging techniques applied to HCM and demonstrate the typical phenotypes and some morphological characteristics of HCM. In addition, we discuss the clinical relevance of MR imaging for risk stratification and management of HCM.
Purpose: Circumventricular organs (CVOs) lack a blood brain barrier and are also called “brain windows”. Among CVOs, the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) is an osmotic regulator involved in the release of vasopressin. In a previous study of healthy subjects, it was reported that contrast enhancement in the OVLT can be recognized in only 34% of 3 Tesla thin slice contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the leakage of gadolinium contrast from the OVLT in healthy subjects using heavily T2-weighted three dimensional-fluid attenuated inversion recovery (3D-FLAIR) (HF) imaging.
Methods: Eight healthy male subjects were included in this study. A standard dose (0.1 mmol/kg) of gadoteridol was intravenously administered. Magnetic resonance cisternography (MRC) and HF were obtained before and 0.5, 1.5, 3, 4.5 and 6 h after the injection. Enhancement of the OVLT including the surrounding cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) was measured by manually drawing a rectangular ROI centered on the OVLT. The ROI was copied to the HF image and the signal intensity was measured. The signal intensity ratio (SIR) was obtained by dividing the signal intensity value of the OVLT ROI by that of the midbrain.
Results: The differences between the mean SIR at pre-contrast and those at 0.5, 1.5, 3, 4.5, and 6 h were significant (P < 0.05). The mean SIR at 0.5 h was higher than those at all other time points (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Using HF imaging, enhancement around the OVLT was observed in all subjects at 0.5 h after intravenous administration of single dose gadoteridol.
Purpose: Diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI) enables sensitive measurement of tissue microstructure by quantifying the non-Gaussian diffusion of water. Although DKI is widely applied in many situations, histological correlation with DKI analysis is lacking. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between DKI metrics and neurite density measured using confocal microscopy of a cleared mouse brain.
Methods: One thy-1 yellow fluorescent protein 16 mouse was deeply anesthetized and perfusion fixation was performed. The brain was carefully dissected out and whole-brain MRI was performed using a 7T animal MRI system. DKI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data were obtained. After the MRI scan, brain sections were prepared and then cleared using aminoalcohols (CUBIC). Confocal microscopy was performed using a two-photon confocal microscope with a laser. Forty-eight ROIs were set on the caudate putamen, seven ROIs on the anterior commissure, and seven ROIs on the ventral hippocampal commissure on the confocal microscopic image and a corresponding MR image. In each ROI, histological neurite density and the metrics of DKI and DTI were calculated. The correlations between diffusion metrics and neurite density were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient analysis.
Results: Mean kurtosis (MK) (P = 5.2 × 10−9, r = 0.73) and radial kurtosis (P = 2.3 × 10−9, r = 0.74) strongly correlated with neurite density in the caudate putamen. The correlation between fractional anisotropy (FA) and neurite density was moderate (P = 0.0030, r = 0.42). In the anterior commissure and the ventral hippocampal commissure, neurite density and FA are very strongly correlated (P = 1.3 × 10−5, r = 0.90). MK in these areas were very high value and showed no significant correlation (P = 0.48).
Conclusion: DKI accurately reflected neurite density in the area with crossing fibers, potentially allowing evaluation of complex microstructures.
Purpose: To assess the feasibility of using oxygen and glucose as stimulating agents in blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of rabbit liver and analyze the impacts by blood flow.
Methods: Pure oxygen inhalation, intravenous injection and oral administration of glucose were given to 11 New Zealand white rabbits to compare the differences of liver T2*, aortic flow (AF), portal vein flow (PVF), aortic area (AA) and portal vein area (PVA) before and at 5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min after administrations. AF and PVF were acquired by two dimensional (2D) Phase Contrast MR (2D-PCMR). The impacts of AF and PVF upon BOLD fMRI were analyzed.
Results: AF and PVF declined at 5 min after oxygen inhalation and were significantly different from baseline, then reverted to baseline. No significant difference was observed in liver T2*, AA and PVA before and after oxygen inhalation. AF, PVF, AA and PVA showed no significant difference before and after glucose intravenous injection, while liver T2* increased gradually with significant difference. AF and liver T2* were significantly different before and after glucose oral administration and increased gradually, AA was significantly different before and after glucose administration at 10 min and 20 min. PVF and PVA started to be different from baseline at 10 min. Greatest variation of T2* (19.6%) was induced by glucose oral administration after 30 min.
Conclusion: Rabbit liver T2* increasing by glucose intravenous injection is possibly associated with glycogen synthesis, provides the possibility to evaluate liver function. Glucose oral administration demonstrated an optimal comparative effect of raising T2*, however, resulted from the superposition of increased glycogen synthesis and blood flow. Inhalation of pure oxygen didn’t alter the rabbit liver T2*, which may possibly result from an offset between the increased concentration of oxyhemoglobin and decreased blood flow.
Purpose: A correlation mapping technique delineating delay time and maximum correlation for characterizing pulsatile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) propagation was proposed. After proofing its technical concept, this technique was applied to healthy volunteers and idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) patients.
Methods: A time-resolved three dimensional-phase contrast (3D-PC) sampled the cardiac-driven CSF velocity at 32 temporal points per cardiac period at each spatial location using retrospective cardiac gating. The proposed technique visualized distributions of propagation delay and correlation coefficient of the PC-based CSF velocity waveform with reference to a waveform at a particular point in the CSF space. The delay time was obtained as the amount of time-shift, giving the maximum correlation for the velocity waveform at an arbitrary location with that at the reference location. The validity and accuracy of the technique were confirmed in a flow phantom equipped with a cardiovascular pump. The technique was then applied to evaluate the intracranial CSF motions in young, healthy (N = 13), and elderly, healthy (N = 13) volunteers and iNPH patients (N = 13).
Results: The phantom study demonstrated that root mean square error of the delay time was 2.27%, which was less than the temporal resolution of PC measurement used in this study (3.13% of a cardiac cycle). The human studies showed a significant difference (P < 0.01) in the mean correlation coefficient between the young, healthy group and the other two groups. A significant difference (P < 0.05) was also recognized in standard deviation of the correlation coefficients in intracranial CSF space among all groups. The result suggests that the CSF space compliance of iNPH patients was lower than that of healthy volunteers.
Conclusion: The correlation mapping technique allowed us to visualize pulsatile CSF velocity wave propagations as still images. The technique may help to classify diseases related to CSF dynamics, such as iNPH.
Purpose:We investigated the feasibility of single breath hold unenhanced coronary MRA using multi-shot gradient echo planar imaging (MSG-EPI) on a 3T-scanner.
Methods: Fourteen volunteers underwent single breath hold coronary MRA with a MSG-EPI and free-breathing turbo field echo (TFE) coronary MRA at 3T. The acquisition time, signal to noise ratio (SNR), and the contrast of the sequences were compared with the paired t-test. Readers evaluated the image contrast, noise, sharpness, artifacts, and the overall image quality.
Results: The acquisition time was 88.1% shorter for MSG-EPI than TFE (24.7 ± 2.5 vs 206.4 ± 23.1 sec, P < 0.01). The SNR was significantly higher on MSG-EPI than TFE scans (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the contrast on MSG-EPI and TFE scans (1.8 ± 0.3 vs 1.9 ± 0.3, P = 0.24). There was no significant difference in image contrast, image sharpness, and overall image quality between two scan techniques. The score of image noise and artifact were significantly higher on MSG-EPI than TFE scans (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The single breath hold MSG-EPI sequence is a promising technique for shortening the scan time and for preserving the image quality of unenhanced whole heart coronary MRA on a 3T scanner.
Purpose: To compare the abilities of three intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) imaging approximation methods to discriminate the histological grade of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs).
Methods: Fifty-eight patients (60 HCCs) underwent IVIM imaging with 11 b-values (0–1000 s/mm2). Slow (D) and fast diffusion coefficients (D*) and the perfusion fraction (f) were calculated for the HCCs using the mean signal intensities in regions of interest drawn by two radiologists. Three approximation methods were used. First, all three parameters were obtained simultaneously using non-linear fitting (method A). Second, D was obtained using linear fitting (b = 500 and 1000), followed by non-linear fitting for D* and f (method B). Third, D was obtained by linear fitting, f was obtained using the regression line intersection and signals at b = 0, and non-linear fitting was used for D* (method C). A receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to reveal the abilities of these methods to distinguish poorly-differentiated from well-to-moderately-differentiated HCCs. Inter-reader agreements were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).
Results: The measurements of D, D*, and f in methods B and C (Az-value, 0.658–0.881) had better discrimination abilities than did those in method A (Az-value, 0.527–0.607). The ICCs of D and f were good to excellent (0.639–0.835) with all methods. The ICCs of D* were moderate with methods B (0.580) and C (0.463) and good with method A (0.705).
Conclusion: The IVIM parameters may vary depending on the fitting methods, and therefore, further technical refinement may be needed.
Spiral MRI sequences were developed for a 9.4T vertical standard bore (54 mm) superconducting magnet using unshielded and self-shielded gradient coils. Clear spiral images with 64-shot scan were obtained with the self-shielded gradient coil, but severe shading artifacts were observed for the spiral-scan images acquired with the unshielded gradient coil. This shading artifact was successfully corrected with a phase-correction technique using reference scans that we developed based on eddy current field measurements. We therefore concluded that spiral imaging sequences can be installed even for unshielded gradient coils if phase corrections are performed using the reference scans.
The sequence for concurrently depicting engulfed vessels and a well-enhanced tumor in once-off scanning has never been reported for preoperative magnetic resonance imaging for brain tumor resection. Multimodal fusion techniques have been recently developed, but the risks of misregistration still remain. Here a case is reported where contrast-enhanced three-dimensional phase contrast sequence concurrently depicted an engulfed vessel and metastatic brain tumor in once-off scanning and related technical aspects are discussed.