Purpose: We propose a quantitative technique to assess solute uptake into the brain parenchyma based on dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI). With this approach, a small molecular weight paramagnetic contrast agent (Gd-DOTA) is infused in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and whole brain gadolinium concentration maps are derived.
Methods: We implemented a 3D variable flip angle spoiled gradient echo (VFA-SPGR) longitudinal relaxation time (T1) technique, the accuracy of which was cross-validated by way of inversion recovery rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (IR-RARE) using phantoms. Normal Wistar rats underwent Gd-DOTA infusion into CSF via the cisterna magna and continuous MRI for approximately 130 min using T1-weighted imaging. Dynamic Gd-DOTA concentration maps were calculated and parenchymal uptake was estimated.
Results: In the phantom study, T1 discrepancies between the VFA-SPGR and IR-RARE sequences were approximately 6% with a transmit coil inhomogeneity correction. In the in vivo study, contrast transport profiles indicated maximal parenchymal retention of approximately 19% relative to the total amount delivered into the cisterna magna.
Conclusion: Imaging strategies for accurate 3D contrast concentration mapping at 9.4T were developed and whole brain dynamic concentration maps were derived to study solute transport via the glymphatic system. The newly developed approach will enable future quantitative studies of the glymphatic system in health and disease states. Magn Reson Med 79:1568-1578, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
Keywords: CSF; DCE; Gd-DOTA; T1; glymphatic.
© 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.