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MRI of congenital arteriovenous malformation in Wistar rats: the effect of altering diffusion tensor imaging in accessing white matter integrity

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Poster Session I

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • TW Tu
  • LC Turtzo
  • JD Lescher
  • DD Dean
  • RA Williams
  • JA Frank


Severe spontaneous hydrocephalus were accidentally found from the baseline scan of Wistar rats used in a traumatic brain injury study. Multiple MRI tenchniques, including MR angiography, susceptibility weighting imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), were utilizied for diagnosis. The existance of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) was confirmed in cooperation with the post-mortem micro-CT and immunohistochemistry images. This study confirms the presence (~50%) of congenital hydrocephalus and AVM in Wistar rats. The aberrant vasculature in these rats (observed on MRA, micro-CT, and RECA staining) may increase interstitial pressure and contribute to hydrocephalus. Comparing to the rats without hydrocephalus, the DTI shows a significant decrease of fractional anisotropy, and increases of mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity. The increase of water content could significantly alter DTI parameters resulting in false interpretations of pseudo-increase of axonal and pseudo-decrease of myelin integrity. Baseline scan is strongly suggested to prevent using these AVM rats in the study of neurological disease.

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