Radiation therapy is widely used for the treatment of brain tumors and may result in cellular, vascular and axonal injury and further behavioral deficits. The non-invasive longitudinal imaging assessment of brain injury caused by radiation therapy is important for determining patient prognoses. Several rodent studies have been performed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but further studies in rabbits and large mammals with advanced magnetic resonance (MR) techniques are needed. Previously, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to evaluate radiation-induced rabbit brain injury. However, DTI is unable to resolve the complicated neural structure changes that are frequently observed during brain injury after radiation exposure. Generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI) is a more accurate and sophisticated diffusion MR approach that can extract additional information about the altered diffusion environments. Therefore, herein, a longitudinal study was performed that used GQI indices, including generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA), quantitative anisotropy (QA), and the isotropic value (ISO) of the orientation distribution function and DTI indices, including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) over a period of approximately half a year to observe long-term, radiation-induced changes in the different brain compartments of a rabbit model after a hemi-brain single dose (30 Gy) radiation exposure. We revealed that in the external capsule, the GFA right to left (R/L) ratio showed similar trends as the FA R/L ratio, but no clear trends in the remaining three brain compartments. Both the QA and ISO R/L ratios showed similar trends in the all four different compartments during the acute to early delayed post-irradiation phase, which could be explained and reflected the histopathological changes of the complicated dynamic interactions among astrogliosis, demyelination and vasogenic edema. We suggest that GQI is a promising non-invasive technique and as compared with DTI, it has better potential ability in detecting and monitoring the pathophysiological cascades in acute to early delayed radiation-induced brain injury by using clinical MR scanners.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)