Dynamic monitoring of blood-brain barrier integrity using water exchange index (WEI) during mannitol and CO2 challenges in mouse brain
Department of Radiology
Cardiovascular System | Investigative Techniques | Nervous System | Radiology
The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical to normal brain function. Traditional techniques for the assessment of BBB disruption rely heavily on the spatiotemporal analysis of extravasating contrast agents. However, such methods based on the leakage of relatively large molecules are not suitable for the detection of subtle BBB impairment or for the performance of repeated measurements in a short time frame. Quantification of the water exchange rate constant (WER) across the BBB using strictly intravascular contrast agents could provide a much more sensitive method for the quantification of the BBB integrity. To estimate WER, we have recently devised a powerful new method using a water exchange index (WEI) biomarker and demonstrated BBB disruption in an acute stroke model. Here, we confirm that WEI is sensitive to even very subtle changes in the integrity of the BBB caused by: (i) systemic hypercapnia and (ii) low doses of a hyperosmolar solution. In addition, we have examined the sensitivity and accuracy of WEI as a biomarker of WER using computer simulation. In particular, the dependence of the WEI-WER relation on changes in vascular blood volume, T1 relaxation of cellular magnetization and transcytolemmal water exchange was explored. Simulated WEI was found to vary linearly with WER for typically encountered exchange rate constants (1-4 Hz), regardless of the blood volume. However, for very high WER ( > 5 Hz), WEI became progressively more insensitive to increasing WER. The incorporation of transcytolemmal water exchange, using a three-compartment tissue model, helped to extend the linear WEI regime to slightly higher WER, but had no significant effect for most physiologically important WERs (WER < 4 Hz). Variation in cellular T1 had no effect on WEI. Using both theoretical and experimental approaches, our study validates the utility of the WEI biomarker for the monitoring of BBB integrity.
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Citation: NMR Biomed. 2013 Apr;26(4):376-85. doi: 10.1002/nbm.2871. Epub 2012 Oct 11. Link to article on publisher's site
Huang, Shuning; Farrar, Christian T; Dai, Guangping; Kwon, Seon Joo; Bogdanov, Alexei A. Jr.; Rosen, Bruce R.; and Kim, Young R., "Dynamic monitoring of blood-brain barrier integrity using water exchange index (WEI) during mannitol and CO2 challenges in mouse brain" (2013). Radiology Publications and Presentations. 90.