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Gadoxetate Relaxivity in Different Liver Compartments
Ex vivo gadoxetate relaxivities in rat liver tissue and blood at five magnetic field strengths from 1.41 to 7 T
Sabina Ziemian, Claudia Green, Steven Sourbron, Gregor Jost, Gunnar Schütz, Catherine D.G. Hines
NMR in Biomedicine, 26 August 2020, e4401; doi:10.1002/nbm.4401
Quantitative mapping of gadoxetate uptake and excretion rates in liver cells has shown potential to significantly improve the management of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Unfortunately, technical and clinical validation of the technique is currently hampered by the lack of data on gadoxetate relaxivity. The aim of this study was to fill this gap by measuring gadoxetate relaxivity in liver tissue, which approximates hepatocytes, in blood, urine and bile at magnetic field strengths of 1.41, 1.5, 3, 4.7 and 7 T. Measurements were performed ex vivo in 44 female Mrp2 knockout rats and 30 female wild‐type rats who had received an intravenous bolus of either 10, 25 or 40 μmol/kg gadoxetate. T1 was measured at 37 ± 3°C on NMR instruments (1.41 and 3 T), small‐animal MRI (4.7 and 7 T) and clinical MRI (1.5 and 3 T). Gadolinium concentration was measured with optical emission spectrometry or mass spectrometry. The impact on measurements of gadoxetate rate constants was determined by generalizing pharmacokinetic models to tissues with different relaxivities. Relaxivity values (L mmol−1 s−1) showed the expected dependency on tissue/biofluid type and field strength, ranging from 15.0 ± 0.9 (1.41) to 6.0 ± 0.3 (7) T in liver tissue, from 7.5 ± 0.2 (1.41) to 6.2 ± 0.3 (7) T in blood, from 5.6 ± 0.1 (1.41) to 4.5 ± 0.1 (7) T in urine and from 5.6 ± 0.4 (1.41) to 4.3 ± 0.6 (7) T in bile. Failing to correct for the relaxivity difference between liver tissue and blood overestimates intracellular uptake rates by a factor of 2.0 at 1.41 T, 1.8 at 1.5 T, 1.5 at 3 T and 1.2 at 4.7 T. The relaxivity values derived in this study can be used retrospectively and prospectively to remove a well‐known bias in gadoxetate rate constants. This will promote the clinical translation of MR‐based liver function assessment by enabling direct validation against reference methods and a more effective translation between in vitro findings, animal models and patient studies.