Magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging in the diagnosis of diffuse liver diseases in rats

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GUAN Sheng()
ZHOU Kang-rong()
ZHAO Wei-dong()
Peng Wei-jun()
TANG Feng()
Mao Jian()
Journal Title:
Volume 118, Issue 08, 2005
Key Word:
liver;diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging;rat

Abstract: Background The diagnosis of diffuse hepatic lesions in early stage is a tough task at any time for clinical conventional imaging Magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (MR DWI) can detect the changes of tissue structure at molecular level This study was designed to determine the value of DWI in the diagnosis of diffuse liver lesions in early stage.Methods Diffuse liver lesions were induced by diethylnitrosamine in 42 rats of test group. Fourteen rats in control group were fed with pure water. Dynamic changes of MR DWI were observed every week in both groups during the early stage of diffuse liver lesions (1 to 12 weeks after drug administration in the test group). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of liver parenchyma in different stages and pathologic changes were analyzed.Results The process of diffuse hepatic lesions in the test group was classified into three stages according to pathological changes, namely hepatitis, hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis. No obvious morphological changes were shown by conventional imaging in both groups during this stage. But MR DWI demonstrated heterogeneous signal changes in early stage of hepatic cirrhosis in the test group. No significant change of ADC values was found in the control group between different weeks (P>0.05). The ADC values of the test group declined from the fifth week, and after the tenth week the ADC values were significantly different between the test and control groups at gradient factor (b) value 300 sec/mm2 (P<0.05). At b value 600 and 1000 sec/mm2, significant difference was seen between the two groups from the sixth week onward. The range of ADC value of the groups was (1.7-0.9)±(0.40-0.04) mm2/sec (b=600) and (1.38-0.75)±(0.07-0.35) mm2/sec (b=1000), respectively. Dominant pathological changes included swelled hepatocytes within 1 to 4 weeks after the administration of diethylnitrosamine in the test group, hyperplasia of fibrous tissues in 5-8 weeks and formation of cirrhotic nodules in 9-12 weeks.Conclusions MR functional DWI could detect diffuse liver lesions earlier than conventional morphological imaging. ADC value as a marker for early diagnosis of diffuse liver lesions could also be used to inspect changes of the lesions.

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