BACKGROUND: Tissue permeabilization by electroporation (EP) is a promising technique to treat certain cancers. Non-invasive methods for verification of induced permeabilization are important, especially in deep-seated cancers. In this study we evaluated diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) as a quantitative method for detecting EP-induced membrane permeabilization of brain tissue using a rat brain model. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-four anesthetized Sprague-Dawley male rats were electroporated in the right hemisphere, using different voltage levels to induce no permeabilization (NP), transient membrane permeabilization (TMP), and permanent membrane permeabilization (PMP), respectively. DW-MRI was acquired 5 minutes, 2 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours after EP. Histology was performed for validation of the permeabilization states. Tissue content of water, Na+, K+, Ca2+, and extracellular volume were determined. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the DW-MRI parameters, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and kurtosis, at different voltage levels. The two-sample Mann- Whitney test with Holm's Bonferroni correction was used to identify pairs of significantly different groups. The study was approved by the Danish Animal Experiments Inspectorate. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Results showed significant difference in the ADC between TMP and PMP at 2 hours (p<0.001) and 24 hours (p<0.05) after EP. Kurtosis was significantly increased both at TMP (p<0.05) and PMP (p<0.001) 5 minutes after EP, compared to NP. Kurtosis was also significantly higher at 24 hours (p<0.05) and 48 hours (p<0.05) at PMP compared to NP. Physiological parameters indicated correlation with the permeabilization states, supporting the DW-MRI findings. We conclude that DW-MRI is capable of detecting EP-induced permeabilization of brain tissue and to some extent of differentiating NP, TMP and PMP using appropriate scan timing.
Acta Oncologica, 2015, Vol 54, Issue 3, p. 289-97
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Animals; Body Water; Brain; Brain Chemistry; Calcium; Cell Membrane Permeability; Diffusion; Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Electroporation; Extracellular Fluid; Male; Normal Distribution; Potassium; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Sodium; Statistics, Nonparametric; Time Factors