Applications of in Vivo and ex Vivo MRI in Toxicologic Pathology

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is widely used today in preclinical research and provides a powerful means for assessing disease development and therapeutic effectiveness in the intact living animal. Magnetic Resonance Histology (MRH), of whole fixed tissue specimens is gaining recognition and can provide complimentary information to conventional histology, as multiple number of digital slices from any desired plane can be acquired leaving the sample intact for subsequent conventional histology. We present in this paper the results of in vivo MRI as well asex vivo 3D- based MRH in a variety of animal models using the M2 compact high performance MRI machine.

Briefly, MR images of different animal models were acquired at different stages of disease using the M2 compact scanner equipped with 35mm and 60mm body coils. Animals were anesthetized with isofluorane and kept warm and under anesthesia and physiological monitoring throughout the experiment. Following conclusion of the study, animals were sacrificed and organs of interest fixed in formalin. High resolution MRH of the target organs was performed using a dedicated 20mm coil. Conventional H&E histology was then performed and results correlated with MRH. We demonstrate here the utility of MRI and MRH as complimentary routines in toxicological studies with the added value of obtaining 3D digital data sets, exploiting the unique MRI contrast mechanisms to obtain quantitative information.
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