In vivo assessment of the placental anatomy and perfusion in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation

Dan Wu, Jun Lei, Bei Jia, Han Xie, Yan Zhu, Jiadi Xu, Susumu Mori, Jiangyang Zhang, Irina Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides useful markers to examine placental function. MRI features of placental injury due to intrauterine inflammation-a common risk during pregnancy, are not well known. Purpose: To investigate the capability of structural MRI and intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) imaging in examining acute placental injury in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation, as well as gestation-dependent placental changes. Study Type: Prospective study. Animal Model: Pregnant CD1 mice were scanned on embryonic day 15 (E15, n=40 placentas from six dams) and E17. On E17, mice were subjected to intrauterine injury by exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS, n=25 placentas from three dams) or sham injury (n=25 placentas from three dams). Field Strength/Sequence: In vivo MRI was performed on an 11.7T Bruker scanner, using a fast spin-echo sequence and a diffusion-weighted echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequence. Assessment: T2-weighted MRI was acquired to evaluate placental volume. IVIM imaging was performed in a restricted field-of-view using 15 b-values from 10-800 s/mm2, based on which, the pseudodiffusion fraction (f), pseudodiffusion coefficient (D*), and tissue water coefficient (D) were estimated with a two-step fitting procedure. Statistical Tests: Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate the group differences. Results: The placental volume increased by ∼21% from E15 to E17 (P < 0.01), and a 15% volume loss was observed at 6 hours after LPS exposure (P < 0.01). IVIM parameters (f, D*, and f·D*) were similar between the E15 and E17 sham groups (P > 0.05), which was significantly reduced in the LPS-exposed placentas compared to the shams (P < 0.001). D values decreased from E15 to E17 (P < 0.05), which were further reduced after LPS exposure (P < 0.05). Changes in placental area and vascular density were histologically identified in the LPS-exposed group, along with gestation-dependent changes. Data Conclusion: Our results suggested structural MRI and IVIM measurements are potential markers for detecting acute placental injury after intrauterine inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Gestation
  • Intrauterine inflammation
  • Intravoxel-incoherent motion
  • Placental perfusion
  • Placental volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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