Oxygenation in the rabbit myocardium: assessment with susceptibility-dependent MR imaging

Radiology. 1993 Dec;189(3):759-64. doi: 10.1148/radiology.189.3.8234701.


Purpose: To determine the feasibility of using hemoglobin (Hb) desaturation as an indicator of myocardial oxygenation.

Materials and methods: High-resolution gradient-echo nuclear magnetic resonance (MR) images of isolated, blood-perfused rabbit hearts were obtained at various blood oxygenation levels. The hearts were perfused at 37 degrees C with a Langendorff apparatus modified for nuclear MR imaging. The perfusate contained bovine red blood cells in a cardioplegic solution that eliminated motion artifacts and minimized arteriovenous oxygenation differences. Hb saturation was varied (7%-100%) randomly. Perfusion pressure was continuously monitored, and blood samples were obtained.

Results: There was a substantial correlation between image signal intensity in the myocardium and Hb saturation in the blood, believed to be due to susceptibility effects of the paramagnetic species deoxyhemoglobin.

Conclusion: Direct and noninvasive determination of regional Hb saturation with susceptibility-dependent MR imaging may provide information regarding regional myocardial O2 content.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardioplegic Solutions
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Perfusion
  • Rabbits


  • Cardioplegic Solutions
  • Hemoglobins
  • deoxyhemoglobin