Publications by authors named "Lindsey A Crowe"

37 Publications

Vascular-targeted micelles as a specific MRI contrast agent for molecular imaging of fibrin clots and cancer cells.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm 2021 Jan 30;158:347-358. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland; Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Molecular medical imaging is intended to increase the accuracy of diagnosis, particularly in cardiovascular and cancer-related diseases, where early detection could significantly increase the treatment success rate. In this study, we present mixed micelles formed from four building blocks as a magnetic resonance imaging targeted contrast agent for the detection of atheroma and cancer cells. The building blocks are a gadolinium-loaded DOTA ring responsible for contrast enhancement, a fibrin-specific CREKA pentapeptide responsible for targeting, a fluorescent dye and DSPE-PEG. The micelles were fully characterized in terms of their size, zeta potential, stability, relaxivity and toxicity. Target binding assays performed on fibrin clots were quantified by fluorescence and image signal intensities and proved the binding power. An additional internalization assay showed that the micelles were also designed to specifically enter into cancer cells. Overall, these multimodal mixed micelles represent a potential formulation for MRI molecular imaging of atheroma and cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2020.11.017DOI Listing
January 2021

Enhancement of HIFU thermal therapy in perfused tissue models using micron-sized FTAC-stabilized PFOB-core endovascular sonosensitizers.

Int J Hyperthermia 2020 ;37(1):1116-1130

Image Guided Interventions Laboratory (GR-949), Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is clinically accepted for the treatment of solid tumors but remains challenging in highly perfused tissue due to the heat sink effect. Endovascular liquid-core sonosensitizers have been previously suggested to enhance the thermal energy deposition at the focal area and to lower the near-/far-field heating. We are investigating the therapeutic potential of PFOB-FTAC micro-droplets in a perfused tissue-mimicking model and postmortem excised organs.

Method: A custom-made perfused tissue-mimicking model, freshly excised pig kidneys ( = 3) and liver ( = 1) were perfused and subjected to focused ultrasound generated by an MR-compatible HIFU transducer. PFOB-FTAC sonosensitizers were injected in the perfusion fluid up to 0.235% v/v ratio. Targeting and on-line PRFS thermometry were performed on a 3 T MR scanner. Assessment of the fluid perfusion was performed with pulsed color Doppler and with dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI in excised organs.

Results: Our model of perfused tissue demonstrated re-usability. Sonosensitizer concentration and perfusion rate were tunable . Differential heating under equivalent HIFU sonications demonstrated a dramatic improvement in the thermal deposition due to the sonosensitizers activity. Typically, the energy deposition was multiplied by a factor between 2.5 and 3 in perfused organs after the administration of micro-droplets, while DCE-MRI indicated an effective perfusion.

Conclusion: The current PFOB-FTAC micro-droplet sonosensitizers provided a large and sustained enhancement of the HIFU thermal deposition at the focal area, suggesting solutions for less technological constraints, lower risk for the near-/far- field heating. We also report a suitable experimental model for other MRgHIFU studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2020.1817575DOI Listing
January 2020

The effect of the elongation of the proximal aorta on the estimation of the aortic wall distensibility.

Biomech Model Mechanobiol 2021 Feb 31;20(1):107-119. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Laboratory of Hemodynamics and Cardiovascular Technology (LHTC), IBI-STI, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), MED 3 2226 (Batiment MED), Station 9, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.

The compliance of the proximal aortic wall is a major determinant of cardiac afterload. Aortic compliance is often estimated based on cross-sectional area changes over the pulse pressure, under the assumption of a negligible longitudinal stretch during the pulse. However, the proximal aorta is subjected to significant axial stretch during cardiac contraction. In the present study, we sought to evaluate the importance of axial stretch on compliance estimation by undertaking both an in silico and an in vivo approach. In the computational analysis, we developed a 3-D finite element model of the proximal aorta and investigated the discrepancy between the actual wall compliance to the value estimated after neglecting the longitudinal stretch of the aorta. A parameter sensitivity analysis was further conducted to show how increased material stiffness and increased aortic root motion might amplify the estimation errors (discrepancies between actual and estimated distensibility ranging from - 20 to - 62%). Axial and circumferential aortic deformation during ventricular contraction was also evaluated in vivo based on MR images of the aorta of 3 healthy young volunteers. The in vivo results were in good qualitative agreement with the computational analysis (underestimation errors ranging from - 26 to - 44%, with increased errors reflecting higher aortic root displacement). Both the in silico and in vivo findings suggest that neglecting the longitudinal strain during contraction might lead to severe underestimation of local aortic compliance, particularly in the case of women who tend to have higher aortic root motion or in subjects with stiff aortas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10237-020-01371-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892736PMC
February 2021

Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging detects an increase in interstitial fibrosis earlier than the decline of renal function.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2020 07;35(7):1274-1276

Service and Laboratory of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine Specialties and of Physiology and Metabolism, University and University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfaa007DOI Listing
July 2020

Ultrasound-driven cardiac MRI.

Phys Med 2020 Feb 4;70:161-168. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Radiology Department, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Purpose: One of the challenges of cardiac MR imaging is the compensation of respiratory motion, which causes the heart and the surrounding tissues to move. Commonly-used methods to overcome this effect, breath-holding and MR navigation, present shortcomings in terms of available acquisition time or need to periodically interrupt the acquisition, respectively. In this work, an implementation of respiratory motion compensation that obtains information from abdominal ultrasound and continuously adapts the imaged slice position in real time is presented.

Methods: A custom workflow was developed, comprising an MR-compatible ultrasound acquisition system, a feature-motion-tracking system with polynomial predictive capability, and a custom MR sequence that continuously adapts the position of the acquired slice according to the tracked position. The system was evaluated on a moving phantom by comparing sharpness and image blurring between static and moving conditions, and in vivo by tracking the motion of the blood vessels of the liver to estimate the cardiac motion. Cine images of the heart were acquired during free breathing.

Results: In vitro, the predictive motion correction yielded significantly better results than non-predictive or non-corrected acquisitions (p ≪ 0.01). In vivo, the predictive correction resulted in an image quality very similar to the breath-hold acquisition, whereas the uncorrected images show noticeable blurring artifacts.

Conclusion: In this work, the possibility of using ultrasound navigation with tracking for the real-time adaptation of MR imaging slices was demonstrated. The implemented technique enabled efficient imaging of the heart with resolutions that would not be feasible in a single breath-hold.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmp.2020.01.008DOI Listing
February 2020

Cardiomyocyte-Specific JunD Overexpression Increases Infarct Size following Ischemia/Reperfusion Cardiac Injury by Downregulating Sirt3.

Thromb Haemost 2020 Jan 13;120(1):168-180. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Center for Molecular Cardiology, Schlieren Campus, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in acute myocardial infarction activates several deleterious molecular mechanisms. The transcription factor JunD regulates pathways involved in oxidative stress as well as in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and death. The present study investigated the potential role of JunD as a modulator of myocardial injury pathways in a mouse model of cardiac I/R injury. Infarct size, systemic and local inflammation, and production of reactive oxygen species, as well as cytosolic and mitochondrial apoptotic pathways were investigated in adult males after myocardial I/R. In wild-type (WT) mice, 30 minutes after ischemia and up to 24 hours following reperfusion, cardiac messenger ribonucleic acid expression was reduced while increased. Cardiac-specific JunD overexpressing mice ( ) displayed larger infarcts compared with WT. However, postischemic inflammatory or oxidative responses did not differ. JunD overexpression reduced Sirt3 transcription by binding to its promoter, thus leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, myocardial cell death, and increased infarct size. On the other hand, JunD silencing reduced, while Sirt3 silencing increased infarct size. In human myocardial autopsy specimens, JunD-positive areas within the infarcted left ventricle staining corresponded to undetectable Sirt3 areas in consecutive sections of the same heart. Cardiac-specific JunD overexpression increases myocardial infarct size following I/R. These effects are mediated via Sirt3 transcriptional repression, mitochondrial swelling, and increased apoptosis, suggesting that JunD is a key regulator of myocardial I/R injury. The present data set the stage for further investigation of the potential role of Sirt3 activation as a novel target for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-3400299DOI Listing
January 2020

Mild hyperthermia by MR-guided focused ultrasound in an ex vivo model of osteolytic bone tumour: optimization of the spatio-temporal control of the delivered temperature.

J Transl Med 2019 10 24;17(1):350. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Image Guided Interventions Laboratory (GR-949), Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound was suggested for the induction of deep localized hyperthermia adjuvant to radiation- or chemotherapy. In this study we are aiming to validate an experimental model for the induction of uniform temperature elevation in osteolytic bone tumours, using the natural acoustic window provided by the cortical breakthrough.

Materials And Methods: Experiments were conducted on ex vivo lamb shank by mimicking osteolytic bone tumours. The cortical breakthrough was exploited to induce hyperthermia inside the medullar cavity by delivering acoustic energy from a phased array HIFU transducer. MR thermometry data was acquired intra-operatory using the proton resonance frequency shift (PRFS) method. Active temperature control was achieved via a closed-loop predictive controller set at 6 °C above the baseline. Several beam geometries with respect to the cortical breakthrough were investigated. Numerical simulations were used to further explain the observed phenomena. Thermal safety of bone heating was assessed by cross-correlating MR thermometry data with the measurements from a fluoroptic temperature sensor inserted in the cortical bone.

Results: Numerical simulations and MR thermometry confirmed the feasibility of spatio-temporal uniform hyperthermia (± 0.5 °C) inside the medullar cavity using a fixed focal point sonication. This result was obtained by the combination of several factors: an optimal positioning of the focal spot in the plane of the cortical breakthrough, the direct absorption of the HIFU beam at the focal spot, the "acoustic oven effect" yielded by the beam interaction with the bone, and a predictive temperature controller. The fluoroptical sensor data revealed no heating risks for the bone and adjacent tissues and were in good agreement with the PRFS thermometry from measurable voxels adjacent to the periosteum.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the feasibility of MR-guided focused ultrasound hyperthermia inside the medullar cavity of bones affected by osteolytic tumours. Our results are considered a promising step for combining adjuvant mild hyperthermia to external beam radiation therapy for sustained pain relief in patients with symptomatic bone metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-019-2094-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6814062PMC
October 2019

Micron-sized PFOB liquid core droplets stabilized with tailored-made perfluorinated surfactants as a new class of endovascular sono-sensitizers for focused ultrasound thermotherapy.

J Mater Chem B 2019 02 7;7(6):927-939. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Image Guided Interventions Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Radiology Department, Geneva, Switzerland.

The purpose of this study was to develop micron-sized droplet emulsions able to increase the heat deposition of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), aiming to accelerate the tumour ablation in highly perfused organs with reduced side effects. The investigated droplets consisted of a perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) core coated with a biocompatible fluorinated surfactant called F-TAC. The novelty of this work relies on the use, for this application, of a high boiling point perfluorocarbon core (142 °C), combined with an in-house fluorinated surfactant to formulate the emulsion, yielding quasi-reversible strong interactions between the HIFU beam and the droplets. In order to fine-tune the emulsion size, surfactants with different hydrophobic/hydrophilic ratios were screened. Different concentrations of PFOB droplets were homogeneously embedded in two different MRI compatible materials, exhibiting either ultrasound (US) absorbing or non-absorbing properties. For the US absorbing TMM, the speed of sound at each droplet concentration was also assessed. These TMM were sonicated by 1 MHz HIFU with acoustical power of 94 W at two different duty cycles. The temperature elevation was monitored accurately by MRI proton shift resonance frequency in near real-time. The presence of sono-sensitive droplets induced a significant increase of the HIFU thermal effect that persisted under repeated sonication of the same locus. Optimal enhancement was observed at the lowest concentration tested (0.1%) with an additional temperature rise at the focal point of approximately 4 °C per applied kJ of acoustic energy corresponding to one order of magnitude augmentation of the thermal dose. Furthermore, no deformation of the heating pattern pre- or post-focal was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8tb01491dDOI Listing
February 2019

Validation of the corticomedullary difference in magnetic resonance imaging-derived apparent diffusion coefficient for kidney fibrosis detection: a cross-sectional study.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2020 06;35(6):937-945

Service and Laboratory of Nephrology, Department for Statistics, Department of Internal Medicine Specialties and of Physiology and Metabolism, University Hospital and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Kidney cortical interstitial fibrosis (IF) is highly predictive of renal prognosis and is currently assessed by the evaluation of a biopsy. Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a promising tool to evaluate kidney fibrosis via the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), but suffers from inter-individual variability. We recently applied a novel MRI protocol to allow calculation of the corticomedullary ADC difference (ΔADC). We here present the validation of ΔADC for fibrosis assessment in a cohort of 164 patients undergoing biopsy and compare it with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and other plasmatic parameters for the detection of fibrosis.

Methods: This monocentric cross-sectional study included 164 patients undergoing renal biopsy at the Nephrology Department of the University Hospital of Geneva between October 2014 and May 2018. Patients underwent diffusion-weighted imaging, and T1 and T2 mappings, within 1 week after biopsy. MRI results were compared with gold standard histology for fibrosis assessment.

Results: Absolute cortical ADC or cortical T1 values correlated poorly to IF assessed by the biopsy, whereas ΔADC was highly correlated to IF (r=-0.52, P < 0.001) and eGFR (r = 0.37, P < 0.01), in both native and allograft patients. ΔT1 displayed a lower, but significant, correlation to IF and eGFR, whereas T2 did not correlate to IF nor to eGFR. ΔADC, ΔT1 and eGFR were independently associated with kidney fibrosis, and their combination allowed detection of extensive fibrosis with good specificity.

Conclusion: ΔADC is better correlated to IF than absolute cortical or medullary ADC values. ΔADC, ΔT1 and eGFR are independently associated to IF and allow the identification of patients with extensive IF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfy389DOI Listing
June 2020

MRI micelles self-assembled from synthetic gadolinium-based nano building blocks.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2019 Jan;55(7):945-948

Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

A synthetic nano building block endowed with amphiphilic properties and chelated gadolinium is presented. Spontaneous self-assembly into small 12 nm corona-core stealth Gd-micelles with inherently high gadolinium loading occurs in water. Gd-Micelles are a new blood pool contrast agent with high relaxivity for magnetic resonance imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8cc08875fDOI Listing
January 2019

Self-Scanned HIFU Ablation of Moving Tissue Using Real-Time Hybrid US-MR Imaging.

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2019 08 5;66(8):2182-2191. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Objective: High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment in the abdominal cavity is challenging due to the respiratory motion. In the self-scanning HIFU ablation method, the focal spot is kept static and the heating pattern is obtained through natural tissue motion. This paper describes a novel approach for modulating the HIFU power during self-scanning in order to compensate for the effect of tissue motion on thermal buildup.

Methods: The therapy, using hybrid ultrasound (US)/magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, consists of detecting and tracking speckle on US images in order to predict the next tissue position, and modulating the HIFU power according to the tissue speed in order to obtain a rectilinear pattern of uniform temperature elevation. Experiments were conducted on ex vivo tissue subjected to a breathing-like motion generated by an MR-compatible robot and sonicated by a phased array HIFU transducer.

Results: US and MR data were free from interferences. For both periodic and non-periodic motion, MR temperature maps showed a substantial improvement in the uniformity of the temperature elevation by using acoustic power modulation.

Conclusion: The presented method does not require a learning stage and enables a duty cycle close to 100%, higher average acoustic intensity and avoidance of side lobe effects versus performing HIFU beam steering to compensate tissue motion.

Significance: To our knowledge, the proposed method provides the first experimental validation of the self-scanning HIFU ablation paradigm via a real-time hybrid MRI/US imaging, opening the path toward self-scanning in vivo therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2018.2885233DOI Listing
August 2019

Molecular oxygen loading in candidate theranostic droplets stabilized with biocompatible fluorinated surfactants: Particle size effect and application to in situF MRI mapping of oxygen partial pressure.

J Magn Reson 2018 10 2;295:27-37. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Image Guided Interventions Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland; University Hospitals of Geneva, Radiology Department, Geneva, Switzerland.

Objective: Perfluorocarbon nano- and micron-sized emulsions are a new field of investigation in cancer treatment due to their ability to be used as imaging contrast agents, or as delivery vectors for pharmaceuticals. They also demonstrated capability to enhance the efficiency of high intensity focused ultrasound thermo-therapy. In the context of new biomedical applications we investigated perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB) theranostic droplets using F NMR. Each droplet contains biocompatible fluorinated surfactants composed of a polar Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane head unit and hydrophobic perfluorinated tail (abbreviated as F-TAC). The influence of the droplet size on the oxygen loading capacity was determined from longitudinal relaxation (T) data of F NMR signal.

Material And Methods: Liquid PFOB and five samples of PFOB droplets of average diameter 0.177, 0.259, 1.43, 3.12 and 4.53 µm were tested with different oxygen levels. A dedicated gas exchange system was validated to maintain steady state oxygen concentrations, including a spatial gradient of oxygen concentration. A prototyped transmit-receive switchable F/H quadrature coil was integrated on a 3 T clinical scanner. The coil is compatible with focused ultrasound sonication for future application. A spectroscopy FID inversion-recovery (IR) sequence was used to measure the T value per sample and per value of equilibrium oxygen pressure. Pixel wise, spatial T mapping was performed with magnetization prepared 2D gradient echo sequences in tissue mimicking gels doped with theranostic droplets.

Results: Experimental data indicated that the longitudinal relaxation rate of F signal of the investigated theranostic droplets depended approximately linearly on the oxygen level and its slope decreased with the particle size according to a second order polynomial over the investigated range. This semi-empirical model was derived from general thermodynamics and weak electrostatic forces theory and fitted the experimental data within 0.75% precision. The capacity of oxygen transportation for the described theranostic droplets tended to that of pure PFOB, while micron-sized droplets lost up to 50% of this capacity. In a specific setup producing a steady state gradient of oxygen concentration, we demonstrated spatial mapping of oxygen pressure gradient of 6 kPa/mm with 1 mm in-plane resolution.

Conclusion: The size-tunable PFOB theranostic droplets stabilized with F-TAC surfactants could be characterized by F MRI in a clinical setup readily compatible with interventional in vivo studies under MR guidance. Current precision and spatial resolution of T mapping are promising. A potential challenge for further in vivo studies is the reduction of the imaging time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2018.07.019DOI Listing
October 2018

Hybrid ultrasound-MR guided HIFU treatment method with 3D motion compensation.

Magn Reson Med 2018 05 24;79(5):2511-2523. Epub 2017 Sep 24.

Image Guided Interventions Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Purpose: Treatments using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in the abdominal region remain challenging as a result of respiratory organ motion. A novel method is described here to achieve 3D motion-compensated ultrasound (US) MR-guided HIFU therapy using simultaneous ultrasound and MRI.

Methods: A truly hybrid US-MR-guided HIFU method was used to plan and control the treatment. Two-dimensional ultrasound was used in real time to enable tracking of the motion in the coronal plane, whereas an MR pencil-beam navigator was used to detect anterior-posterior motion. Prospective motion compensation of proton resonance frequency shift (PRFS) thermometry and HIFU electronic beam steering were achieved.

Results: The 3D prospective motion-corrected PRFS temperature maps showed reduced intrascan ghosting artifacts, a high signal-to-noise ratio, and low geometric distortion. The k-space data yielded a consistent temperature-dependent PRFS effect, matching the gold standard thermometry within approximately 1°C. The maximum in-plane temperature elevation ex vivo was improved by a factor of 2. Baseline thermometry acquired in volunteers indicated reduction of residual motion, together with an accuracy/precision of near-harmonic referenceless PRFS thermometry on the order of 0.5/1.0°C.

Conclusions: Hybrid US-MR-guided HIFU ablation with 3D motion compensation was demonstrated ex vivo together with a stable referenceless PRFS thermometry baseline in healthy volunteer liver acquisitions. Magn Reson Med 79:2511-2523, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.26897DOI Listing
May 2018

4D cardiac imaging at clinical 3.0T provides accurate assessment of murine myocardial function and viability.

Magn Reson Imaging 2017 12 5;44:46-54. Epub 2017 Aug 5.

Division of Radiology, Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, Geneva University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, 4 rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Objectives: We validate a 4D strategy tailored for 3T clinical systems to simultaneously quantify function and infarct size in wild type mice after ischemia/reperfusion, with improved spatial and temporal resolution by comparison to previous published protocols using clinical field MRI systems.

Methods: C57BL/6J mice underwent 60min ischemia/reperfusion (n=14) or were controls without surgery (n=6). Twenty-four hours after surgery mice were imaged with gadolinium injection and sacrificed for post-mortem MRI and histology with serum also taken for Troponin I levels. The double ECG- and respiratory-triggered 3D FLASH (Fast Low Angle Shot) gradient echo (GRE) cine sequence had an acquired isotropic resolution of 344μm, TR/TE of 7.8/2.9ms and acquisition time 25-35min. The conventional 2D FLASH cine sequence had the same in-plane resolution of 344μm, 1mm slice thickness and TR/TE 11/5.4ms for an acquisition time of 20-25min plus 5min for planning. Left ventricle (LV) and right ventricle (RV) volumes were measured and functional parameters compared 2D to 3D, left to right and for inter and intra observer reproducibility. MRI infarct volume was compared to histology.

Results: For the function evaluation, the 3D cine outperformed 2D cine for spatial and temporal resolution. Protocol time for the two methods was equivalent (25-35min). Flow artifacts were reduced (p=0.008) and epi/endo-cardial delineation showed good intra and interobserver reproducibility. Paired t-test comparing ejection volume left to right showed no significant difference for 3D (p=0.37), nor 2D (p=0.30) and correlation slopes of left to right EV were 1.17 (R=0.75) for 2D and 1.05 (R=0.50) for 3D. Quantifiable 'late gadolinium enhancement' infarct volume was seen only with the 3D cine and correlated to histology (R=0.89). Left ejection fraction and MRI-measured infarct volume correlated (R>0.3).

Conclusions: The 4D strategy, with contrast injection, was validated in mice for function and infarct quantification from a single scan with minimal slice planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2017.07.024DOI Listing
December 2017

Dynamic Volume Assessment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Rat Livers Using a Clinical 3T MRI and Novel Segmentation.

J Invest Surg 2018 Feb 20;31(1):44-53. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

b Division of Radiology , University Hospitals of Geneva and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva , Geneva , Switzerland.

Purpose: In vivo liver cancer research commonly uses rodent models. One of the limitations of such models is the lack of accurate and reproducible endpoints for a dynamic assessment of growing tumor nodules. The aim of this study was to validate a noninvasive, true volume segmentation method using two rat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) models, correlating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with histological volume measurement, and with blood levels of α-fetoprotein.

Materials And Methods: We used 3T clinical MRI to quantify tumor volume with follow-up over time. Using two distinct rat HCC models, calculated MRI tumor volumes were correlated with volumes from histological sections, or with blood levels of α-fetoprotein. Eleven rats, comprising six Buffalo rats (n = 9 scans) and five Fischer rats (n = 14 tumors), were injected in the portal vein with 2.5 × 10 and 2.0 × 10 syngeneic HCC cells, respectively. Longitudinal (T1) relaxation time- and transverse (T2) relaxation time-weighted MR images were acquired.

Results: The three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted gradient echo had 0.35-mm isotropic resolution allowing accurate semi-automatic volume segmentation. 2D T2-weighted imaging provided high tumor contrast. Segmentation of combined 3D gradient echo T1-weighted images and 2D turbo spin echo T2-weighted images provided excellent correlation with histology (y = 0.866x + 0.034, R² = 0.997 p < .0001) and with α-fetoprotein (y = 0.736x + 1.077, R² = 0.976, p < .0001). There was robust inter- and intra-observer reproducibility (intra-class correlation coefficient > 0.998, p < .0001).

Conclusions: We have developed a novel, noninvasive contrast imaging protocol which enables semi-automatic 3D volume quantification to analyze nonspherical tumor nodules and to follow up the growth of tumor nodules over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941939.2016.1276987DOI Listing
February 2018

Treatment with anti-RANKL antibody reduces infarct size and attenuates dysfunction impacting on neutrophil-mediated injury.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2016 05 5;94:82-94. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

First Clinic of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa School of Medicine and IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino-IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, 6 viale Benedetto XV, 16132 Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

Selective pharmacological treatments targeting reperfusion injury produced modest protective effects and might be associated with immunosuppression. In order to identify novel and better-tolerated approaches, we focused on the neutralization of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand [RANKL], a cytokine recently shown to activate inflammatory cells (i.e. neutrophils) orchestrating post-infarction injury and repair. Myocardial ischemia (60min) and reperfusion injury was surgically induced in C57Bl/6 mice. In hearts and serum, RANKL was early upregulated during reperfusion. A "one-shot" injection with neutralizing anti-RANKL IgG during ischemia ameliorated myocardial infarct size and function, but not adverse remodeling (determined by Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI]) as compared to Vehicle or control IgG. These beneficial effects were accompanied in vivo by reduction in cardiac neutrophil infiltration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and MMP-9 release. Anti-RANKL IgG treatment suppressed sudden peak of neutrophil granule products in mouse serum early after reperfusion onset. In vitro, RANK mRNA expression was detected in isolated mouse neutrophils. Co-incubation with neutralizing anti-RANKL IgG abrogated RANKL-induced mouse neutrophil degranulation and migration, suggesting a critical role of RANKL in neutrophil-mediated injury. Conversely, anti-RANKL IgG did not affect salvage pathways in cardiac cells (i.e. ERK p42/p44, Akt and STAT-3) or macrophage cardiac infiltration. Finally, treatment with anti-RANKL IgG showed no effect on B and T lymphocyte polarization (in serum, spleen and infarcted myocardium) and circulating chemokines as compared with Vehicle or control IgG. In conclusion, acute treatment with anti-RANKL IgG improved cardiac infarct size and function by potentially impacting on neutrophil-mediated injury and repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.03.013DOI Listing
May 2016

Accumulation of amino-polyvinyl alcohol-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in bone marrow: implications for local stromal cells.

Nanomedicine (Lond) 2015 Jul;10(14):2139-51

Julius Wolff Institute, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany.

Aims: First, it will be investigated if amino-polyvinyl alcohol-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (A-PVA-SPIONs) are suitable for MRI contrast enhancement in bone marrow. Second, the impact of A-PVA-SPION exposure in vivo on the viability and key functions of local bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) will be investigated.

Material & Methods: Animals were systemically injected with A-PVA-SPIONs, followed by a 7-day survival time. Accumulation of A-PVA-SPIONs was confirmed by MRI, histology and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. BMSCs were isolated from bone marrow for in vitro assessment of their viability and regenerative key functions.

Results: In this study, A-PVA-SPIONs were found to accumulate in bone marrow and increase the BMSCs' metabolic activity and migration rate.

Conclusion: A-PVA-SPIONs appear suitable for contrast enhancement in bone marrow while our data suggest an influence on the BMSCs biology that necessitates future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/nnm.15.62DOI Listing
July 2015

The in-vivo use of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles to detect inflammation elicits a cytokine response but does not aggravate experimental arthritis.

PLoS One 2015 8;10(5):e0126687. Epub 2015 May 8.

Experimental Rheumatology, Department of Rheumatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Background: Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPION) are used in diagnostic imaging of a variety of different diseases. For such in-vivo application, an additional coating with a polymer, for example polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), is needed to stabilize the SPION and prevent aggregation. As the particles are foreign to the body, reaction against the SPION could occur. In this study we investigated the effects that SPION may have on experimental arthritis after intra-articular (i.a.) or intravenous (i.v.) injection.

Methods: PVA-coated SPION were injected either i.a. (6 or 24 μg iron) or i.v. (100 μg or 1 mg iron) into naïve Toll-like receptor-4 deficient (TLR4-/-) or wild-type C57Bl/6 mice, or C57Bl/6 mice with antigen-induced arthritis. As control, some mice were injected with PVA or PBS. MR imaging was performed at 1 and 7 days after injection. Mice were sacrificed 2 hours and 1, 2, 7, 10 and 14 days after injection of the SPION, and RNA from synovium and liver was isolated for pro-inflammatory gene expression analysis. Serum cytokine measurements and whole knee joint histology were also performed.

Results: Injection of a high dose of SPION or PVA into naïve knee joints resulted in an immediate upregulation of pro-inflammatory gene expression in the synovium. A similar gene expression profile was observed after SPION or PVA injection into knee joints of TLR4-/- mice, indicating that this effect is not due to LPS contamination. Histological analysis of the knee joints also revealed synovial inflammation after SPION injection. Two hours after i.v. injection of SPION or PVA into naïve mice, an upregulation of pro-inflammatory gene expression was detected in the liver. Administration of SPION or PVA into arthritic mice via i.a. injection did not result in an upregulation in gene expression and also no additional effects were observed on histology. MR imaging and histology showed long-term retention of SPION in the inflamed joint. However, 14 days after the injections no long-term effects were evident for gene expression, histology or serum cytokine concentrations.

Conclusions: Injection of SPION, either locally or systemically, gives an acute inflammatory response. In the long term, up to 14 days after the injection, while the SPION reside in the joint, no further activating effects of SPION were observed. Hence, we conclude that SPION do not aggravate arthritis and can therefore be used safely to detect joint inflammation by MR imaging.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0126687PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425489PMC
April 2016

Improvement of renal diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging with readout-segmented echo-planar imaging at 3T.

Magn Reson Imaging 2015 Jul 27;33(6):701-8. Epub 2015 Feb 27.

Division of Radiology, Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Purpose: To assess the feasibility of a respiratory-gated implementation of readout-segmented SE-EPI (RESOLVE) for renal diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) by comparison with single-shot SE-EPI (ss-EPI) in a phantom, healthy volunteers and chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

Materials And Methods: A fluid-filled phantom, 20 healthy volunteers and 10 CKD patients were scanned with the same parameters and coils on a 3T MR system with 3 DW sequences (b-values=0, 300, 500, 900s/mm(2)): a standard ss-EPI (Reference EPI), a ss-EPI with higher resolution, bandwidth and acceleration factor (HR-EPI) and RESOLVE with the same spatial resolution as HR-EPI but a segmentation of the readout into 5 shots. Geometric distortions, image blurring using a 'Canny' edge detection based measure, cortico-medullary differentiation measured on b0 images and ADC quantification were compared between the 3 sequences using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post-hoc Bonferroni (p<0.05 was taken as statistically significant).

Results: RESOLVE reduced significantly geometric distortions and blurring and improved, in the volunteers and patients, the sharpness score by 56% on average in comparison to ss-EPI (p=0.02). In healthy volunteers, the cortico-medullary differentiation with RESOLVE was also possible on a wider range of b-values (p<0.02) with ADC values (in 10(-6)mm(2)/s) of 1994±246 in the cortex and 1762±238 in the medulla (p<0.001). In CKD patients, ADC values (in 10(-6)mm(2)/s) from the RESOLVE sequence were not different between the cortex (1755±145) and the medulla (1799±163, p=0.49).

Conclusion: Despite a longer scan time, RESOLVE enhanced significantly the quality of renal diffusion-weighted images by improving the difference in SI and ADC between the renal cortex and medulla in healthy volunteers. In CKD patients, RESOLVE showed a disappearance of this cortico-medullary ADC difference. These improvements justify further clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2015.02.023DOI Listing
July 2015

Amino-polyvinyl alcohol coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are suitable for monitoring of human mesenchymal stromal cells in vivo.

Small 2014 Nov 2;10(21):4340-51. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Julius Wolff Institute, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353, Berlin, Germany.

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are promising candidates in regenerative cell-therapies. However, optimizing their number and route of delivery remains a critical issue, which can be addressed by monitoring the MSCs' bio-distribution in vivo using super-paramagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). In this study, amino-polyvinyl alcohol coated (A-PVA) SPIONs are introduced for cell-labeling and visualization by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of human MSCs. Size and surface charge of A-PVA-SPIONs differ depending on their solvent. Under MSC-labeling conditions, A-PVA-SPIONs have a hydrodynamic diameter of 42 ± 2 nm and a negative Zeta potential of 25 ± 5 mV, which enable efficient internalization by MSCs without the need to use transfection agents. Transmission X-ray microscopy localizes A-PVA-SPIONs in intracellular vesicles and as cytosolic single particles. After identifying non-interfering cell-assays and determining the delivered and cellular dose, in addition to the administered dose, A-PVA-SPIONs are found to be non-toxic to MSCs and non-destructive towards their multi-lineage differentiation potential. Surprisingly, MSC migration is increased. In MRI, A-PVA-SPION-labeled MSCs are successfully visualized in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, A-PVA-SPIONs have no unfavorable influences on MSCs, although it becomes evident how sensitive their functional behavior is towards SPION-labeling. And A-PVA-SPIONs allow MSC-monitoring in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.201400707DOI Listing
November 2014

Monitoring the effects of dexamethasone treatment by MRI using in vivo iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled macrophages.

Arthritis Res Ther 2014 Jun 23;16(3):R131. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Introduction: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease causing recurring inflammatory joint attacks. These attacks are characterized by macrophage infiltration contributing to joint destruction. Studies have shown that RA treatment efficacy is correlated to synovial macrophage number. The aim of this study was to experimentally validate the use of in vivo superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) labeled macrophages to evaluate RA treatment by MRI.

Methods: The evolution of macrophages was monitored with and without dexamethasone (Dexa) treatment in rats. Two doses of 3 and 1 mg/kg Dexa were administered two and five days following induction of antigen induced arthritis. SPIONs (7 mg Fe/rat) were injected intravenously and the knees were imaged in vivo on days 6, 10 and 13. The MR images were scored for three parameters: SPION signal intensity, SPION distribution pattern and synovial oedema. Using 3D semi-automated software, the MR SPION signal was quantified. The efficacy of SPIONs and gadolinium chelate (Gd), an MR contrast agent, in illustrating treatment effects were compared. Those results were confirmed through histological measurements of number and area of macrophages and nanoparticle clusters using CD68 immunostaining and Prussian blue staining respectively.

Results: Results show that the pattern and the intensity of SPION-labeled macrophages on MRI were altered by Dexa treatment. While the Dexa group had a uniform elliptical line surrounding an oedema pocket, the untreated group showed a diffused SPION distribution on day 6 post-induction. Dexa reduced the intensity of SPION signal 50-60% on days 10 and 13 compared to controls (P = 0.00008 and 0.002 respectively). Similar results were found when the signal was measured by the 3D tool. On day 13, the persisting low grade arthritis progression could not be demonstrated by Gd. Analysis of knee samples by Prussian blue and CD68 immunostaining confirmed in vivo SPION uptake by macrophages. Furthermore, CD68 immunostaining revealed that Dexa treatment significantly decreased the area and number of synovial macrophages. Prussian blue quantification corresponded to the macrophage measurements and both were in agreement with the MRI findings.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of MRI tracking of in vivo SPION-labeled macrophages to assess RA treatment effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar4588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4095600PMC
June 2014

Pre-retrieval reperfusion decreases cancer recurrence after rat ischemic liver graft transplantation.

J Hepatol 2014 Aug 5;61(2):278-85. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Divisions of Transplant and Abdominal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Liver transplantation from marginal donors is associated with ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) lesions, which may increase the risk of post-transplant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence. Graft reperfusion prior to retrieval (as for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation--ECMO) can prevent I/R lesions. The impact of I/R on the risk of cancer recurrence was assessed on a syngeneic Fischer-rat liver transplantation model.

Methods: HCC cells were injected into the vena porta of all recipients at the end of an orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Control donors were standard heart-beating, ischemic ones (ISC), underwent 10 min or 30 min inflow liver clamping prior to retrieval, and ischemic/reperfused (ISC/R) donors underwent 2h liver reperfusion after the clamping.

Results: I/R lesions were confirmed in the ISC group, with the presence of endothelial and hepatocyte injury, and increased liver function tests. These lesions were in part reversed by the 2h reperfusion in the ISC/R group. HCC growth was higher in the 10 min and 30 min ISC recipients (p = 0.018 and 0.004 vs. control, as assessed by MRI difference between weeks one and two), and was prevented in the ISC/Rs (p = 0.04 and 0.01 vs. ISC). These observations were associated with a stronger pro-inflammatory cytokine profile in the ISC recipients only, and the expression of hypoxia and HCC growth-enhancer genes, including Hmox1, Hif1a and Serpine1.

Conclusions: This experiment suggests that ischemia/reperfusion lesions lead to an increased risk of post-transplant HCC recurrence and growth. This observation can be reversed by graft reperfusion prior to retrieval.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2014.03.036DOI Listing
August 2014

Quantification of islet loss and graft functionality during immune rejection by 3-tesla MRI in a rat model.

Transplantation 2013 Sep;96(5):438-44

Cell Isolation and Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Because metabolic markers are not suitable for early diagnosis of islet graft dysfunction, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to study islets that were labeled pretransplantation with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. However, the relation between graft functionality assessed by glycemia, and MRI signal remains unclear.

Methods: We transplanted hyperglycemic rats intraportally with 2500 ferucarbotran-labeled syngeneic (n=10) or allogeneic (n=12) islet equivalents or normoglycemic rats with 5000 xenogeneic human islet equivalents. Images were acquired on a clinical 3-Tesla MRI scanner.

Results: When rejection occurred on days 4 and 8 in xenogeneic and allogeneic recipients, 60% (57-68) and 55% (46-73) of the initial signal remained compared to 93% (71-104) and 82% (59-90) in syngeneic controls (P=0.006 and 0.03). With a cutoff value of 84% on day 4 for the diagnosis of allogeneic rejection, sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 70% were obtained. Based on MRI signal on day 4, treatment with antilymphocytic serum from day 4 allowed graft rescue in 75% of recipients.

Conclusions: In this model, MRI of pretransplantation superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled islet grafts allows timely diagnosis of immune rejection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e31829b080fDOI Listing
September 2013

Noninvasive imaging techniques in islet transplantation.

Curr Diab Rep 2011 Oct;11(5):375-83

Cell Isolation and Transplant Center, University of Geneva, Level R, 1 rue Michel Servet, CH-1211, GENEVA 4, Switzerland.

Since the Edmonton trials, insulin independence can reproducibly be achieved after islet transplantation. However, a majority of patients resume insulin treatment in the first 5 years after transplantation. Several mechanisms have been proposed but are difficult to pinpoint in one particular patient. Current tools for the metabolic monitoring of islet grafts indicate islet dysfunction when it is too late to take action. Noninvasive imaging of transplanted islets could be used to study β-cell mass and β-cell function just after infusion, during vascularization or autoimmune and alloimmune attacks. This review will focus on the most recent advances in various imaging techniques (bioluminescence imaging, fluorescence optical imaging, MRI, and positron emission tomography). Emphasis will be placed on pertinent approaches for translation to human practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11892-011-0215-xDOI Listing
October 2011

Manganese kinetics demonstrated double contrast in acute but not in chronic infarction in a mouse model of myocardial occlusion reperfusion.

NMR Biomed 2012 Apr 27;25(4):489-97. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Division of Radiology, Geneva University Hospital, University of Geneva, Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland.

Manganese (Mn(2+)) is considered as a specific MRI contrast agent that enters viable cardiomyocytes through calcium pathways. Compared to extracellular gadolinium based contrast agents, it has the potential to assess cell viability. To date, only information from the washout phase after recirculation has been used for the detection and characterization of myocardial infarct. This study showed for the first time that in a mouse model of coronary occlusion-reperfusion, Mn(2+) wash-in kinetics are different at 24 h after surgery (acute infarction) than at eight days after surgery (chronic infarction). A fast but transient entry of Mn(2+) into the acute infarct area led to a double contrast between infarct and remote areas, whereas entry of Mn(2+) into the chronic infarct area remained reduced compared to remote regions during both wash-in and washout phases. The main hypothesis is that extracellular space is largely enhanced in acute infarction due to cell membrane rupture and interstitial edema, whereas scar tissue is densely composed of collagen fibers that reduce the distribution volume of free Mn(2+) ions. In addition to its ability to accurately depict the infarct area during the redistribution phase, Mn(2+) is also able to discriminate acute versus chronic injury by the observation of double-contrast kinetics in a mouse model of ischemia reperfusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nbm.1759DOI Listing
April 2012

Assessment of human islet labeling with clinical grade iron nanoparticles prior to transplantation for graft monitoring by MRI.

Cell Transplant 2010 17;19(12):1573-85. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Cell Isolation and Transplantation Center, Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva, School of Medicine, 4 rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil, Geneva 14, Switzerland.

Ex vivo labeling of islets with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles allows posttransplant MRI imaging of the graft. In the present study, we compare two clinical grade SPIOs (ferucarbotran and ferumoxide) in terms of toxicity, islet cellular uptake, and MRI imaging. Human islets (80-90% purity) were incubated for 24 h with various concentrations of SPIOs (14-280 μg/ml of iron). Static incubations were performed, comparing insulin response to basal (2.8 mM) or high glucose stimulation (16.7 mM), with or without cAMP stimulation. Insulin and Perl's (assessment of iron content) staining were performed. Electronic microscopy analysis was performed. Labeled islets were used for in vitro or in vivo imaging in MRI 1.5T. Liver section after organ removal was performed in the same plane as MRI imaging to get a correlation between histology and radiology. Postlabeling islet viability (80 ± 10%) and function (in vitro static incubation and in vivo engraftment of human islets in nude mice) were similar in both groups. Iron uptake assessed by electron microscopy showed iron inclusions within the islets with ferucarbotran, but not with ferumoxide. MRI imaging (1.5T) of phantoms and of human islets transplanted in rats, demonstrated a strong signal with ferucarbotran, but only a weak signal with ferumoxide. Signal persisted for >8 weeks in the absence of rejection. An excellent correlation was observed between radiologic images and histology. The hepatic clearance of intraportally injected ferucarbotran was faster than that of ferumoxide, generating less background. A rapid signal decrease was observed in rejecting xenogeneic islets. According to the present data, ferucarbotran is the most appropriate of available clinical grade SPIOs for human islet imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368910X515863DOI Listing
June 2011

Spiral demystified.

Magn Reson Imaging 2010 Jul 21;28(6):862-81. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Radiology Clinic, Geneva University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland.

Spiral acquisition schemes offer unique advantages such as flow compensation, efficient k-space sampling and robustness against motion that make this option a viable choice among other non-Cartesian sampling schemes. For this reason, the main applications of spiral imaging lie in dynamic magnetic resonance imaging such as cardiac imaging and functional brain imaging. However, these advantages are counterbalanced by practical difficulties that render spiral imaging quite challenging. Firstly, the design of gradient waveforms and its hardware requires specific attention. Secondly, the reconstruction of such data is no longer straightforward because k-space samples are no longer aligned on a Cartesian grid. Thirdly, to take advantage of parallel imaging techniques, the common generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisitions (GRAPPA) or sensitivity encoding (SENSE) algorithms need to be extended. Finally, and most notably, spiral images are prone to particular artifacts such as blurring due to gradient deviations and off-resonance effects caused by B(0) inhomogeneity and concomitant gradient fields. In this article, various difficulties that spiral imaging brings along, and the solutions, which have been developed and proposed in literature, will be reviewed in detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2010.03.036DOI Listing
July 2010

Myocardial infarction quantification with Manganese-Enhanced MRI (MEMRI) in mice using a 3T clinical scanner.

NMR Biomed 2010 Jun;23(5):503-13

Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Manganese (Mn(2+)) was recognized early as an efficient intracellular MR contrast agent to assess cardiomyocyte viability. It had previously been used for the assessment of myocardial infarction in various animal models from pig to mouse. However, whether Manganese-Enhanced MRI (MEMRI) is also able to assess infarction in the acute phase of a coronary occlusion reperfusion model in mice has not yet been demonstrated. This model is of particular interest as it is closer to the situation encountered in the clinical setting. This study aimed to measure infarction volume taking TTC staining as a gold standard, as well as global and regional function before and after Mn(2+) injection using a clinical 3T scanner. The first step of this study was to perform a dose-response curve in order to optimize the injection protocol. Infarction volume measured with MEMRI was strongly correlated to TTC staining. Ejection fraction (EF) and percent wall thickening measurements allowed evaluation of global and regional function. While EF must be measured before Mn(2+) injection to avoid bias introduced by the reduction of contrast in cine images, percent wall thickening can be measured either before or after Mn(2+) injection and depicts accurately infarct related contraction deficit. This study is the first step for further longitudinal studies of cardiac disease in mice on a clinical 3T scanner, a widely available platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nbm.1489DOI Listing
June 2010

Effect of rosiglitazone on progression of atherosclerosis: insights using 3D carotid cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 2009 Jul 27;11:24. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK.

Background: There is recent evidence suggesting that rosiglitazone increases death from cardiovascular causes. We investigated the direct effect of this drug on atheroma using 3D carotid cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Results: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was performed to evaluate the effect of rosiglitazone treatment on carotid atherosclerosis in subjects with type 2 diabetes and coexisting vascular disease or hypertension. The primary endpoint of the study was the change from baseline to 52 weeks of carotid arterial wall volume, reflecting plaque burden, as measured by carotid cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Rosiglitazone or placebo was allocated to 28 and 29 patients respectively. Patients were managed to have equivalent glycemic control over the study period, but in fact the rosiglitazone group lowered their HbA1c by 0.88% relative to placebo (P < 0.001). Most patients received a statin or fibrate as lipid control medication (rosiglitazone 78%, controls 83%). Data are presented as mean +/- SD. At baseline, the carotid arterial wall volume in the placebo group was 1146 +/- 550 mm3 and in the rosiglitazone group was 1354 +/- 532 mm3. After 52 weeks, the respective volumes were 1134 +/- 523 mm3 and 1348 +/- 531 mm3. These changes (-12.1 mm3 and -5.7 mm3 in the placebo and rosiglitazone groups, respectively) were not statistically significant between groups (P = 0.57).

Conclusion: Treatment with rosiglitazone over 1 year had no effect on progression of carotid atheroma in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to placebo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1532-429X-11-24DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726137PMC
July 2009

Magnetic resonance imaging of ferumoxide-labeled mesenchymal stem cells seeded on collagen scaffolds-relevance to tissue engineering.

Tissue Eng 2006 Oct;12(10):2765-75

Heart Science Centre, Harefield Hospital, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising candidate cell for tissue engineering. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been proven effective in visualizing iron-labeled stem cells; however, the efficiency of this approach for visualization of cells seeded on scaffolds intended for use as tissue-engineered heart valves has not been assessed. MSCs were labeled by incubating for 48 h with ferumoxide and poly-L-lysine as transfecting agent. Any detrimental effect of iron labeling on cell viability, proliferation, and differentiation was examined using appropriate functional assays. Change in the nuclear magnetic relaxation properties of labeled cells was determined using in vitro relaxometry of cells seeded in 3-dimensional collagen gels. Images of labeled and non-labeled cells seeded onto 1% type I bovine collagen scaffolds were obtained using MRI. The presence of intracellular iron in labeled cells was demonstrated using Prussian blue staining, confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy. Cell viability, proliferation, and differentiation were comparable in labeled and non-labeled cells. The T2 relaxation time was 40% to 50% shorter in ferumoxide-labeled cells. Labeled cells seeded on scaffolds appeared as areas of reduced signal intensity in T2 weighted images. Ferumoxide labeling persisted and remained effective even on scans performed 4 weeks after the labeling procedure. Ferumoxide labeling of human MSCs seeded on collagen scaffolds is an effective, non-toxic technique for visualization of these cells using MRI. This technique appears promising for cell tracking in future tissue-engineering applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.2006.12.2765DOI Listing
October 2006