Magnetite as a Potent Contrast-Enhancing Agent in Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Visualize Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption
Imaging of blood-brain barrier damage by magnetic resonance was currently studied as to the potential of dextran-magnetite particles (DMP) for contrast enhancement. For that purpose, dextran T10 (average molecular weight: 10.9 Kilodalton) was complexed with magnetite (Fe3O4) in ammonia. Experimental testing of the agent was made in vivo using Wistar rats with a freezing injury to the brain. DMP was i.v. injected at a dose of 90 µM Fe/kg b.w. followed by 2% Evans blue (0.6 ml). Control animals with trauma were studied without administration of DMP. Histochemical assessments were made to analyze the tissue distribution of DMP in the brain, kidney and liver after fixation in 4% formalin. MR imaging was conducted with 1.5 Tesla field strength with a circular coil 15 min after the freezing insult and administration of DMP. T1- and T2-weighted images were obtained using spin echo sequences among others. Regression analyses indicated a 50% reduction of Ti at a DMP concentration of 48 µM Fe, while for T2 only 4 µM/ Fe(DMP) were sufficient for a 50% reduction. DMP was also accumulating in other organs, particularly in the Kupffer cells of the liver. Administration of DMP led to recognition of the freezing lesion as black area in agreement with macroscopical findings obtained by autopsy. In animals with a freezing lesion without administration of DMP, only T2-weighted images demonstrated a somewhat higher intensity attributable to the disruption of the blood-brain barrier. The present findings demonstrate the usefulness of DMP for contrast enhancement of lesions following disruption of the blood-brain barrier.
KeywordsMagnetic resonance imaging contrast enhancement dextran magnetite particles blood-brain barrier
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