New publication in Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Publication date: June 2022
Publication title: "Characterization of perivascular space pathology in a rat model of cerebral small vessel disease by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. "
Authors: Monte B, Constantinou S, Koundal S, Lee H, Dai F, Gursky Z, Van Nostrand WE, Darbinyan A, Zlokovic BV, Wardlaw JM, Benveniste H.
One of the most common causes of dementia is cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), which is associated with enlarged perivascular spaces (PVS). Clinically, PVS are visible as hyperintensities on T2-weighted (T2w) magnetic resonance images (MRI). While rodent SVD models exhibit arteriolosclerosis, PVS have not been robustly documented by MRI casting doubts on their clinical relevance. Here we established that the severity of SVD in spontaneously hypertensive stroke prone (SHRSP) rats correlated to 'moderate' SVD in human post-mortem tissue. We then developed two approaches for detecting PVS in SHRSP rats: 1) T2w imaging and 2) T1-weighted imaging with administration of gadoteric acid into cerebrospinal fluid. We applied the two protocols to six Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) control rats and thirteen SHRSP rats at ∼12 month of age. The primary endpoint was the number of hyperintense lesions. We found more hyperintensities on T2w MRI in the SHRSP compared to WKY rats (p-value = 0.023). CSF enhancement with gadoteric acid increased the visibility of PVS-like lesions in SHRSP rats. In some of the SHRSP rats, the MRI hyperintensities corresponded to enlarged PVS on histopathology. The finding of PVS-like hyperintensities on T2w MRI support the SHRSP rat's clinical relevance for studying the underlying pathophysiology of SVD.
Cerebral small vessel disease; hyperintense lesions; magnetic resonance imaging; perivascular space; spontaneous hypertensive stroke prone rat.