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Development of FENSI (Flow Enhanced Signal Intensity) perfusion sequence and application to the characterization of microvascular flow dynamics using MRI

Abstract : The discoveries, implementations and developments of NMR and MRI have had a major impact in medical imaging. Compared to other imaging modalities (PET, SPECT, CT), current MRI research helps to further and better understand the inner mechanisms of the human body in a less invasive manner. In clinical neuroimaging, perfusion MRI is of spectacular importance to study cerebrovascular diseases and cancer. However, at the moment, there is no perfusion MRI sequence that allows for a complete, non-invasive and precise quantification of microvascular flow dynamics. This work focuses on the use of the recently introduced Flow Enhanced Signal Intensity method (FENSI) to characterize and quantify vasculature at capillary level, at high and ultra high magnetic field (7 and 17.2 tesla).For that purpose, the possible quantification of blood flux with FENSI is explored in vivo. The combination of flux quantification and flow-enhanced signal (compared to Arterial Spin Labeling) can make of FENSI an ideal method to characterize in a complete non-invasive way the brain microvasculature. After removal of magnetization transfer (MT) effects, the blood flow dynamics are studied with FENSI in a very aggressive and propagative rat brain tumor model: the 9L gliosarcoma. The objective is to assess whether FENSI is suitable for a longitudinal non-invasive characterization of microvascular changes associated with tumor growth. The results obtained with FENSI are compared with literature on 9L perfusion and immuno-histochemistry. In the first paper published on FENSI, a first glance was also casted on the potential of the flow enhanced technique when applied to fMRI. The results obtained at the time were contaminated by MT effects. With the implementation of a new MT-free FENSI technique, the possibility to map the brain cerebral functioning based on a quantitative physiological parameter (CBFlux) more directly related to neuronal activity than the usual BOLD signal is within reach. At ultra high field, the influence of different anesthetics on the rat brain microvascular network and BOLD contrast is also considered. After many developments around the FENSI technique, the method is compared to classical ASL and DSC perfusion MRI sequences. The strengths and weaknesses of the FENSI method, its characteristics, ‘precautions for use’, and potential main applications are detailed and discussed.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 3:42:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 6:05:13 AM
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Olivier Reynaud. Development of FENSI (Flow Enhanced Signal Intensity) perfusion sequence and application to the characterization of microvascular flow dynamics using MRI. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112158⟩. ⟨tel-00740639⟩

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