Temporal and regional changes during focal ischemia in rat brain studied by proton spectroscopic imaging and quantitative diffusion NMR imaging


  • W. Dreher
  • B. Kuehn
  • M.L. Gyngell
  • E. Busch
  • T. Niendorf
  • K.A. Hossmann
  • D. Leibfritz


  • Magnetic Resonance in Medicine


  • Magn Reson Med 39 (6): 878-888


  • The early development of focal ischemia after permanent occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA) was studied in six rats using interleaved measurements by diffusion-weighted NMR imaging (DWI) of water and two variants of proton spectroscopic imaging (SI), multiecho SI (TE: 136, 272, 408 ms) and short TE SI (TE: 20 ms). Measurements on a 4.7-T NMR imaging system were performed between the control phase and approximately 6 h postocclusion. In the center of the ischemic lesion of all rats, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) decreased rapidly to 84.4 +/- 4.2% (mean +/- SD) of the control values approximately 2 min postocclusion. Approximately 6 h postocclusion, the ADC was reduced to 67.1 +/- 5.9%. In contrast, large differences between the animals were observed for the temporal increase of lactate (Lac) in the ipsilateral hemisphere. The maximum Lac signal was reached in four rats after 0.5-1.5 h, and in two rats was not reached even after 6 h postocclusion. Six h postocclusion, SI spectra measured at a TE of 136 ms revealed a decrease in the CH3 signal of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) to 67 +/- 13% of the control values. Differences were observed between the spatial regions of decreased NAA and increased Lac. In the lesions, a T2 relaxation time of Lac of 292 +/- 40 ms, considering a J-coupling constant of 6.9 Hz, was measured. Furthermore, a prolongation of the T2 of the CH3 signal of creatine/phosphocreatine (Cr/PCr) was observed in the lesion, from 163 +/- 22 ms during control to 211 +/- 41 ms approximately 6 h postocclusion. The experiments proved that DWI and proton SI are valuable tools to provide complementary information on processes associated with brain infarcts.