Cerebral ischemia alters the molecular dynamics and content of water in brain tissue, which is reflected in NMR relaxation, diffusion and magnetization transfer (MT) parameters. In this study, the behavior of two new MRI contrasts, Relaxation Along a Fictitious Field (RAFF) and Z-spectroscopy using Alternating-Phase Irradiation (ZAPI), were quantified together with conventional relaxation parameters (T1, T2 and T1ρ) and MT ratios in acute cerebral ischemia in rat. The right middle cerebral artery was permanently occluded and quantitative MRI data was acquired sequentially for the above parameters for up to 6 hours. The following conclusions were drawn: 1) Time-dependent changes in RAFF and T1ρ relaxation are not coupled to those in MT. 2) RAFF relaxation evolves more like transverse, rather than longitudinal relaxation. 3) MT measured with ZAPI is less sensitive to ischemia than conventional MT. 4) ZAPI data suggest alterations in the T2 distribution of macromolecules in acute cerebral ischemia. It was shown that both RAFF and ZAPI provide complementary MRI information from acute ischemic brain tissue. The presented multiparametric MRI data may aid in the assessment of brain tissue status early in ischemic stroke.
- Brain and Behaviour