Compensatory UTE/T2W Imaging of Inflammatory Vascular Wall in Hyperlipidemic Rabbits.
Bongjune Kim ; Jaemoon Yang ; Yong-Min Huh ; Seungjoo Haam ; Jin-Suck Suh ; Eugene Lee ; Dan Heo ; Myeong-Hoon Kim ; Young Han Lee
PLoS One, Vol.10(5) : e0124572, 2015
OBJECTIVES: To obtain compensatory ultra-short echo time (UTE) imaging and T2-weighted (T2W) imaging of Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits following dextran-coated magnetic nanocluster (DMNC) injection for the effective in vivo detection of inflammatory vascular wall.
METHODS: Magnetic nanoparticle was synthesized by thermal decomposition and encapsulated with dextran to prepare DMNC. The contrast enhancement efficiency of DMNC was investigated using UTE (repetition time [TR] = 5.58 and TE = 0.07 ms) and T2W (TR = 4000 and TE = 60 ms) imaging sequences. To confirm the internalization of DMNC into macrophages, DMNC-treated macrophages were visualized by cellular transmission electron microscope (TEM) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. WHHL rabbits expressing macrophage-rich plaques were subjected to UTE and T2W imaging before and after intravenous DMNC (120 μmol Fe/kg) treatment. Ex vivo MR imaging of plaques and immunostaining studies were also performed.
RESULTS: Positive and negative contrast enhancement of DMNC solutions with increasing Fe concentrations were observed in UTE and T2W imaging, respectively. The relative signal intensities of the DMNC solution containing 2.9 mM Fe were calculated as 3.53 and 0.99 in UTE and T2W imaging, respectively. DMNC uptake into the macrophage cytoplasm was visualized by electron microscopy. Cellular MR imaging of DMNC-treated macrophages revealed relative signals of 3.00 in UTE imaging and 0.98 in T2W imaging. In vivo MR images revealed significant brightening and darkening of plaque areas in the WHHL rabbit 24 h after DMNC injection in UTE and T2W imaging, respectively. Ex vivo MR imaging results agreed with these in vivo MR imaging results. Histological analysis showed that DMNCs were localized to areas of inflammatory vascular wall.
CONCLUSIONS: Using compensatory UTE and T2W imaging in conjunction with DMNC is an effective approach for the noninvasive in vivo imaging of atherosclerotic plaque.