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B A Berkowitz, P S Tofts, H A Sen, N Ando, E de Juan; Accurate and precise measurement of blood-retinal barrier breakdown using dynamic Gd-DTPA MRI.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(13):3500-3506.
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Dynamic T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after the injection of Gd-DTPA is a promising method for investigating breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier (BRB). Previously, the authors demonstrated that in a T1-weighted image, the initial rate of change in the vitreous water MRI signal as gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) enters the vitreous space strongly correlated with the extent of BRB breakdown. Here, a practical approach to measuring a more relevant physiologic parameter is presented: the permeability surface area product (PS). The theory is a development of earlier work used in investigating the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. The accuracy and precision of this approach was investigated in rabbits pretreated with sodium iodate (30 mg/kg intravenously). The MRI-derived PS normalized to the area of leaky retina (5.65 +/- 0.25 x 10(-4) cm/min, mean +/- standard error of the mean; n = 6) was compared to a similarly normalized PS calculated using a classical physiologic method (4.12 +/- 0.73 x 10(-4) cm/min; n = 6). Good agreement between the two methods was found (P = 0.09). This result demonstrates that the MRI-derived PS is an accurate and precise measure of BRB breakdown under these conditions. The mathematical model of Gd-DTPA distribution in vivo also is validated. Based on these results, several potential sources of error are discussed, including the effect of back-flow of Gd-DTPA from the vitreous space to the plasma, the underlying vascular patency, and MRI slice selection.
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