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Optimized cardiac functional MRI of small-animal models of cancer radiation therapy. Magn Reson Imaging 2020 Nov;73:130-137



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Cardiac MRI of small animal models of cancer radiation therapy (RT) is a valuable tool for studying the effect of RT on the heart. However, standard cardiac MRI exams require long scanning times, which is challenging for sick animals that may not survive extended periods of imaging under anesthesia. The purpose of this study is to develop an optimized, fast MRI exam for comprehensive cardiac functional imaging of small-animal models of cancer RT. Ten adult female rats (2 non-irradiated and 8 irradiated) were scanned using the developed exam. Optimal imaging parameters were determined, which minimized scanning time while ensuring measurement accuracy and avoiding imaging artifacts. This optimized, fast MRI exam lasted for 30 min, which was tolerated by all animals. EF was normal in all imaged rats, although it was significantly increased in the irradiated rats, which also showed ventricular hypertrophy. However, myocardial strain was significantly reduced in the irradiated rats. In conclusion, a fast MRI exam has been developed for comprehensive cardiac functional imaging of rats in 30 min, with optimized imaging parameters to ensure accurate measurements and tolerance by irradiated rats. The generated strain measurements provide an early marker of regional cardiac dysfunction before global function is affected.

Author List

Ibrahim EH, Baruah D, Budde M, Rubenstein J, Frei A, Schlaak R, Gore E, Bergom C


Elizabeth M. Gore MD Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
El-Sayed H. Ibrahim PhD Associate Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jason C. Rubenstein MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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