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Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2015 Sep-Oct;10(5):379-87. doi: 10.1002/cmmi.1640. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Three-dimensional contrasted visualization of pancreas in rats using clinical MRI and CT scanners.

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Theragnostic Laboratory, Department of Imaging and Pathology, Biomedical Sciences Group, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
Department of Radiology, University Hospitals, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.
Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, China.


The purpose of this work was to visualize the pancreas in post-mortem rats with local contrast medium infusion by three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) using clinical imagers. A total of 16 Sprague Dawley rats of about 300 g were used for the pancreas visualization. Following the baseline imaging, a mixed contrast medium dye called GadoIodo-EB containing optimized concentrations of Gd-DOTA, iomeprol and Evens blue was infused into the distally obstructed common bile duct (CBD) for post-contrast imaging with 3.0 T MRI and 128-slice CT scanners. Images were post-processed with the MeVisLab software package. MRI findings were co-registered with CT scans and validated with histomorphology, with relative contrast ratios quantified. Without contrast enhancement, the pancreas was indiscernible. After infusion of GadoIodo-EB solution, only the pancreatic region became outstandingly visible, as shown by 3D rendering MRI and CT and proven by colored dissection and histological examinations. The measured volume of the pancreas averaged 1.12 ± 0.04 cm(3) after standardization. Relative contrast ratios were 93.28 ± 34.61% and 26.45 ± 5.29% for MRI and CT respectively. We have developed a multifunctional contrast medium dye to help clearly visualize and delineate rat pancreas in situ using clinical MRI and CT scanners. The topographic landmarks thus created with 3D demonstration may help to provide guidelines for the next in vivo pancreatic MRI research in rodents.


3D visualization; contrast-enhanced imaging; image processing; rat pancreas

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