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Methods. 2007 Sep;43(1):12-20.

Diffusion weighted imaging in small rodents using clinical MRI scanners.

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Biomedical Imaging, Interventional Therapy and Contrast Media Research, Department of Radiology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has emerged as a unique and powerful non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique with a major potential impact on imaging-based diagnosis in a variety of clinical applications including oncology and tissue viability assessment. In light of increasing demand for applying this technique in preclinical investigations using small animals, we have explored the potentials of a clinical magnet for acquiring the DWI in rats and mice with either cerebral ischemia or solid tumors. Through technical adaptation and optimization, we have been able to perform a series of clinically relevant animal studies with conclusions based on DWI quantification. Focusing more on practical aspects and cross-referencing with the current literature, this paper is aimed to summarize our ongoing DWI studies on small rodents with stroke and tumors, and to provide protocols for researchers to replicate similar techniques in their own preclinical and clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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