Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Hereditary Spontaneous Hepatitis in Long-Evans Cinnamon Rats

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Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats have abnormal metal metabolism and spontaneously develop hereditary hepatitis. The influence of in-vivo metals on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was studied using LEC rats.


Short spin-echo images of the livers of LEC rats were obtained using a 7.05-T small-bore MR unit. Effectively, these images were proton-density images because of T2-shortening mechanism in high magnetic field. The LEC rats were imaged during pre-, acute, and chronic hepatitis phases. The accumulation of copper and iron in the livers of LEC rats was evaluated.


Signal intensities, which were homogeneous throughout the liver in every phase, decreased in the acute hepatitis phase and recovered in the chronic hepatitis phase. Copper was accumulated in all phases. Iron was observed grossly in the hepatocytes in the acute phase, but decreased in the chronic phase.


Signal intensities of proton-density images of the livers of LEC rats in phases of pre-, acute, and chronic hepatitis were influenced by iron.

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