Commenced in January 2007
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1 Measurements of MRI R2* Relaxation Rate in Liver and Muscle: Animal Model

Authors: Jo-Chi Jao, Po-Chou Chen, Chiung-Yun Chang, Jiun-Shiang Tzeng, Ka-Wai Mac, Chia-Chi Hsiao

Abstract:

This study was aimed to measure effective transverse relaxation rates (R2*) in the liver and muscle of normal New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. R2* relaxation rate has been widely used in various hepatic diseases for iron overload by quantifying iron contents in liver. R2* relaxation rate is defined as the reciprocal of T2* relaxation time and mainly depends on the constituents of tissue. Different tissues would have different R2* relaxation rates. The signal intensity decay in Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be characterized by R2* relaxation rates. In this study, a 1.5T GE Signa HDxt whole body MR scanner equipped with an 8-channel high resolution knee coil was used to observe R2* values in NZW rabbit’s liver and muscle. Eight healthy NZW rabbits weighted 2 ~ 2.5 kg were recruited. After anesthesia using Zoletil 50 and Rompun 2% mixture, the abdomen of rabbit was landmarked at the center of knee coil to perform 3-plane localizer scan using fast spoiled gradient echo (FSPGR) pulse sequence. Afterwards, multi-planar fast gradient echo (MFGR) scans were performed with 8 various echo times (TEs) to acquire images for R2* measurements. Regions of interest (ROIs) at liver and muscle were measured using Advantage workstation. Finally, the R2* was obtained by a linear regression of ln(sı) on TE. The results showed that the longer the echo time, the smaller the signal intensity. The R2* values of liver and muscle were 44.8 ± 10.9 s-1 and 37.4 ± 9.5 s-1, respectively. It implies that the iron concentration of liver is higher than that of muscle. In conclusion, the more the iron contents in tissue, the higher the R2*. The correlations between R2* and iron content in NZW rabbits might be valuable for further exploration.

Keywords: MRI, Liver, Muscle, R2* relaxation rate, multi-planar fast gradient echo

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