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Radiology. 1991 Feb;178(2):519-22.

Lymph nodes: microstructural anatomy at MR imaging.

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  • 1MGH-NMR Center, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.

Abstract

High-resolution microscopic magnetic resonance (MR) images of rodent lymph nodes were directly correlated with sections obtained for histologic study to determine the microstructural anatomy of lymph nodes seen at MR imaging and to evaluate signal intensity changes induced by a novel intravenous lymphotropic MR contrast agent (ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide [USPIO]). High-resolution T2-weighted images of unenhanced lymph nodes demonstrated medullary sinus as regions of low signal intensity and follicles as high-intensity structures. After a single intravenous administration of USPIO (160 mumol/kg), both T1-weighted and T2-weighted images showed areas of focal signal intensity loss in medullary sinuses corresponding to the distribution of uptake by macrophages. Lymph follicles appeared unchanged in signal intensity, as they are largely devoid of macrophages. This model of microscopic MR imaging should provide the basis for (a) understanding differences between patterns of contrast-enhanced normal lymph nodes and those of diseased ones and (b) guiding the development of targeting strategies for novel pharmaceuticals at the cellular level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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