Oxygenation-sensitive contrast in magnetic resonance image of rodent brain at high magnetic fields

Magn Reson Med. 1990 Apr;14(1):68-78. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1910140108.


At high magnetic fields (7 and 8.4 T), water proton magnetic resonance images of brains of live mice and rats under pentobarbital anesthetization have been measured by a gradient echo pulse sequence with a spatial resolution of 65 x 65-microns pixel size and 700-microns slice thickness. The contrast in these images depicts anatomical details of the brain by numerous dark lines of various sizes. These lines are absent in the image taken by the usual spin echo sequence. They represent the blood vessels in the image slice and appear when the deoxyhemoglobin content in the red cells increases. This contrast is most pronounced in an anoxy brain but not present in a brain with diamagnetic oxy or carbon monoxide hemoglobin. The local field induced by the magnetic susceptibility change in the blood due to the paramagnetic deoxyhemoglobin causes the intra voxel dephasing of the water signals of the blood and the surrounding tissue. This oxygenation-dependent contrast is appreciable in high field images with high spatial resolution.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods
  • Mice
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Protons
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Protons