In vivo MRS for the assessment of mouse colon using a dedicated endorectal coil: initial findings

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Sep 25, 2017
  • Author: Hugo Dorez, Hélène Ratiney, Laurence Canaple, Hervé Saint‐Jalmes, Sophie Gaillard, Driffa Moussata, Raphaël Sablong, Olivier Beuf
  • Journal: NMR in Biomedicine

Inflammatory bowel disease is a common group of inflammation conditions that can affect the colon and the rectum. These pathologies require a careful follow‐up of patients to prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Currently, conventional endoscopy is used to depict alterations of the intestinal walls, and biopsies are performed on suspicious lesions for further analysis (histology). MRS enables the in vivo analysis of biochemical content of tissues (i.e. without removing any samples). Combined with dedicated endorectal coils (ERCs), MRS provides new ways of characterizing alterations of tissues.

An MRS in vivo protocol was specifically set up on healthy mice and on mice chemically treated to induce colitis. Acquisitions were performed on a 4.7 T system using a linear volume birdcage coil for the transmission of the B1 magnetic field, and a dedicated ERC was used for signal reception. Colon‐wall complex, lumen and visceral fat were assessed on healthy and treated mice with voxel sizes ranging from 0.125 μL to 2 μL while keeping acquisition times below 3 min.

The acquired spectra show various biochemical contents such as α‐ and β‐methylene but also glycerol backbone and diacyl. Choline was detected in tumoral regions. Visceral fat regions display a high lipid content with no water, whereas colon‐wall complex exhibits both high lipid and high water contents.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that in vivo MRS using an ERC has been performed in the assessment of colon walls and surrounding structures. It provides keys for the in vivo characterization of small local suspicious lesions and offers complementary solutions to biopsies.

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