To demonstrate the use of 3D-enhanced T2* weighted angiography (ESWAN) imaging for the observation and quantification of the evolution of brain injury induced by a recently developed model of hypoxic–ischemic brain injury (HI/R) in neonatal piglets.
For these experiments, newborn piglets were subjected to HI/R injury, during which ESWAN scanning was performed, followed by H&E staining and immunohistochemistry of AQP–4 expression.
In the striatum, values from T2* weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) increased and reached their highest level at 3 days post injury, whereas T2* values increased and peaked at 24 h in the subcortical region. The change in T2* values was concordant with brain edema. Phase values in the subcortical border region were not dependent on time post-injury. Magnitude values were significantly different from the control group, and increased gradually over time in the subcortical border region. Susceptibility–weighted images (SWI) indicated small petechial hemorrhages in the striatum and thalamus, as well as dilated intramedullary veins.
SWI images can be used to detect white and gray matter microhemorrhages and dilated intramedullary veins. The T2*, phase, and magnitude map can also reflect the development of brain injury. Our data illustrate that ESWAN imaging can increase the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of MRI in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.