Functional magnetic resonance imaging monitoring of pathological changes in rodent livers during hyperoxia and hypercapnia

Hila Barash, Eitan Gross, Yifat Edrei, Orit Pappo, Gadi Spira, Israel Vlodavsky, Eithan Galun, Idit Matot, Rinat Abramovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Liver diseases and regeneration are associated with hemodynamic changes denoting pathological alterations. Determining and monitoring physiological and pathological liver changes is essential for diagnostic and therapeutic objectives. Our aim was to determine the feasibility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during hypercapnia and hyperoxia for monitoring liver pathology. Liver fMRI images were acquired in rodents following acute bleeding, partial hepatectomy, and fibrosis. Results were quantitated and confirmed by histology. Changes induced by hyperoxia and hypercapnia following hemorrhage significantly correlated with the percentage of blood loss, reflecting lower liver perfusion and diminished vessel responsiveness to gas saturation. Hepatectomy resulted in an early decline in signal intensity changes due to hyperoxia, suggesting a decrease in liver perfusion and blood content. Following hepatectomy, signal intensity changes due to hypercapnia increased, signifying a change in liver perfusion from a mainly portal to a more arterial source. Two weeks after induction of fibrosis, signal intensity changes due to hypercapnia became much lower and those due to hyperoxia were much higher than those in normal livers, reflecting the increased perfusion due to the inflammatory process as confirmed by histologic analysis. With fibrosis progression, signal intensity changes induced by hypercapnia and hyperoxia were gradually attenuated, indicating structural and functional alterations of the liver vasculature during fibrosis. Conclusion: In various liver pathologies, fMRI response to hypercapnia and hyperoxia is sensitive to changes in liver hemodynamic status involved in hepatic damage or recovery; thus, this technique may offer an additional noninvasive diagnostic tool for evaluation and follow-up of liver diseases by means of examining perfusion-related alterations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1232-1241
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


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