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Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2003;5:29-56.

Structural, functional, and molecular MR imaging of the microvasculature.

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  • 1Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely applied for functional imaging of the microcirculation and for functional and structural studies of the microvasculature. The interest in the capabilities of MRI in noninvasively monitoring changes in vascular structure and function expanded over the past years, with specific efforts directed toward the development of novel imaging methods for quantification of angiogenesis. Molecular imaging approaches hold promise for further expansion of the ability to characterize the microvasculature. Exciting applications for MRI are emerging in the study of the biology of microvessels and in the evaluation of potential pharmaceutical modulators of vascular function and development, and preclinical MRI tools can serve for the design of mechanism-of-action-based noninvasive clinical methods for monitoring response to therapy. The aim of this review is to provide a current snapshot of recent developments in this rapidly evolving field.

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