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Clinical Trial
, 26 (10), 2055-2064

Macrophage Imaging of Cerebral Aneurysms With Ferumoxytol: An Exploratory Study in an Animal Model and in Patients

Clinical Trial

Macrophage Imaging of Cerebral Aneurysms With Ferumoxytol: An Exploratory Study in an Animal Model and in Patients

Tomohiro Aoki et al. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess the validity and feasibility of macrophage imaging using an ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle, ferumoxytol, in the cerebral aneurysmal wall in an animal model and in humans.

Materials and methods: Engulfment of ferumoxytol by primary culture of macrophages and RAW264.7 cells was assessed. Uptake of ferumoxytol was evaluated histologically in a cerebral aneurysmal model in rats. In an exploratory clinical study of magnetic resonance macrophage imaging, 17 unruptured aneurysms in 17 patients were imaged using thin-slice gapless magnetic resonance images of 2D-gradient-recalled echo (2D-GRE) and 3D-T1-fast-spin echo sequences on day 0 and of the same sequences with infusion of ferumoxytol 24 hours after the first imaging. Pre- and postinfusion images were evaluated independently by 2 medical doctors.

Results: Engulfment of ferumoxytol was confirmed in vitro, but the amount of ferumoxytol uptake was independent of the activation state or the differentiation state. Ferumoxytol uptake in CD68-positive cells was observed in the cerebral arterial walls of 4 out of 15 (26.7%) experimentally induced aneurysms in rats. In a clinical study, 17 aneurysms were enrolled and 2 aneurysms were not assessed because of incomplete images. Eleven aneurysms without oral intake of recent anti-inflammatory agents of the remaining 15 aneurysms showed ferumoxytol uptake on 2D-GRE subtraction images, and the size of the aneurysms was significantly related to positive images.

Conclusions: Ferumoxytol uptake was confirmed in cultured macrophages and in the cerebral aneurysmal wall in rats. Thin-slice gapless magnetic resonance imaging with ferumoxytol in human cerebral aneurysmal walls may reflect macrophages in the cerebral aneurysmal wall, but its application to small-sized lesions may be restricted.

Keywords: Cerebral aneurysm; imaging; macrophage; magnetic resonance.

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