With the development of various models of pulmonary disease, there is tremendous interest in quantitative regional assessment of pulmonary function. While ventilation imaging has been addressed to a certain extent, perfusion imaging for small animals has not kept pace. In humans and large animals perfusion can be assessed using dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI with a single bolus injection of a gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agent. But the method developed for the clinic cannot be translated directly to image the rodent due to the combined requirements of higher spatial and temporal resolution. This work describes a novel image acquisition technique staggered over multiple, repeatable bolus injections of contrast agent using an automated microinjector, synchronized with image acquisition to achieve dynamic first-pass contrast enhancement in the rat lung. This allows dynamic first-pass imaging that can be used to quantify pulmonary perfusion. Further improvements are made in the spatial and temporal resolution by combining the multiple injection acquisition method with Interleaved Radial Imaging and "Sliding window-keyhole" reconstruction (IRIS). The results demonstrate a simultaneous increase in spatial resolution (<200 μm) and temporal resolution (<200 ms) over previous methods, with a limited loss in signal-to-noise-ratio.
- Quantitative perfusion
- Radial keyhole
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging