Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is among the leading causes of end-stage renal disease. Increasing evidence exists that molecular therapeutic strategies targeted to cyst formation and growth might be more efficacious in early disease stages, highlighting the growing need for sensitive biomarkers. Here we apply quantitative magnetic resonance imaging techniques of T2 mapping and diffusion-weighted imaging in the jck mouse model for PKD using a clinical 3.0 T scanner. We tested whether kidney T2 values and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) are superior to anatomical imaging parameters in the detection of early cystogenesis, as shown on macro- and histopathology. We also tested whether kidney T2 values and ADC have the potential to monitor early treatment effects of therapy with the V2 receptor antagonist Mozavaptane. Kidney T2 values and to a lesser degree ADC were found to be highly sensitive markers of early cystogenesis and superior to anatomical-based imaging parameters. Furthermore, kidney T2 values exhibited a nearly perfect correlation to the histological cystic index, allowing a clear separation of the two mouse genotypes. Additionally, kidney T2 values and ADC were able to monitor early treatment effects in the jck mouse model in a proof-of-principle experiment. Thus, given the superiority of kidney T2 values and ADC over anatomical-based imaging in mice, further studies are needed to evaluate the translational impact of these techniques in patients with PKD.
Keywords: T2 mapping; diffusion-weighted imaging; jck mouse model; magnetic resonance imaging; polycystic kidney disease.
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