News | Neuro Imaging | March 16, 2016

New MRI Technique May Offer Clearer Picture of Stroke Damage

Real-time imaging of neurological damage with new contrast agent could lead to improved stroke care

stroke damage, MRI, contrast agent, gelatinase, University of Missouri study

March 16, 2016 ― A team of researchers led by the University of Missouri School of Medicine has developed a new, real-time method of imaging molecular events after ischemic strokes ― a finding that may lead to improved care for patients.

According to the American Heart Association, ischemic strokes account for nearly 90 percent of all strokes. They occur when a blocked artery prevents blood from getting to the brain and usually result in long-term disability or death.

“During an ischemic stroke, harmful enzymes called gelatinase become overactive in areas of the brain where blood flow is cut off,” said Zezong Gu, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “Over-activation of these enzymes causes brain damage. Our team hypothesized that if we could visualize and track this activity in real-time, we could then work on developing a way to block the activity and prevent brain damage from occurring.”

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used to diagnose strokes because it produces precise, sectional images of the brain. Although these images can verify the region of arterial blockages within the brain, current contrast agents are not specific or sensitive enough to reveal important molecular events, such as gelatinase activity, on an MRI image.

To overcome this obstacle, the researchers used peptides that specifically recognize gelatinase activity. The peptides were tagged with contrast agents through a process developed by research team member Roger Tsien, Ph.D., a biochemist and Nobel Laureate at the University of California, San Diego.

“Once the tagged peptides traveled to the site of increased gelatinase activity, they were absorbed into the cells with this activated enzyme,” Gu said. “When enough of these peptides were absorbed, the stroke site was visible on an MRI. We tested this technique in both cell-based and mouse models of ischemic stroke. Using this method, we successfully tracked gelatinase activity.”

Gu suggests that real-time imaging of this activity could lead to a better understanding of how to treat strokes and mediate the damage they cause.

“Our findings indicate that tagged peptides can be used as a non-invasive probe to detect and track gelatinase activity,” Gu said. “This process may serve as an additional tool for clinicians to treat their patients if a viable inhibitor can be developed to prevent the damage caused by this activity.”

Gu and his team currently are working to develop such a gelatinase inhibitor.

The study, “Gelatinase Activity Imaged by Activatable Cell-penetrating Peptides in Cell-based and In Vivo Models of Stroke,” recently was published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the Dana Foundation, American Heart Association National Scientist Development Award (09SDG2260983) and the MU Department Research Fund.

For more information: www.jcb.sagepub.com

Related Content

Turkish Hospital Begins MR-Guided Radiation Therapy With Viewray MRIdian Linac
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | September 21, 2018
ViewRay Inc. announced that Acibadem Maslak Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey has begun treating patients with ViewRay's...
Machine Learning IDs Markers to Help Predict Alzheimer's

Neurologists use structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify changes in brain tissue (both gray and white matter) that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The MRI images are analyzed using morphometry and tractography techniques, which detect changes in the shape and dimensions of the brain and in the tissue microstructure, respectively. In this example, the images show the normal brain of an elderly patient. Image courtesy of Jiook Cha.

News | Neuro Imaging | September 20, 2018
New research has shown a combination of two different modes of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer-based...
Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T MR. This innovation is the latest advance in the Ingenia MRI portfolio, which comprises fully-digital MRI systems, healthcare informatics and a range of maintenance and life cycle services for integrated solutions that empower a faster, smarter, and simpler path to enabling a confident diagnosis
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 14, 2018
Philips, a global leader in health technology, launched the Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T MR.
Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns, as seen in this MRI.

Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns, as seen in this MRI.

News | Contrast Media | September 12, 2018
In February 2018, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, to explore co
Veye Chest version 2
News | Lung Cancer | September 11, 2018
Aidence, an Amsterdam-based medical AI company, announced that Veye Chest version 2, a class IIa medical device, has
Sponsored Content | Case Study | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 07, 2018 | By Sabine Sartoretti, M.D.
As soon as the Compressed SENSE technology became available to the MRI team at Kantonsspital Winterthur (Switzerland),...

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 06, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
According to the Prescient & Strategic Intelligence report, “Global Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Market Size,...
PET Imaging Agent Predicts Brain Tau Pathology, Alzheimer's Diagnosis
News | PET Imaging | September 05, 2018
Eli Lilly and Co. and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. announced a Phase 3 study of positron emission tomography (PET)...
Check-Cap Announces Interim Results of European Study of C-Scan System Version 3
News | Colonoscopy Systems | September 04, 2018
Check-Cap Ltd. announced the interim results for its post-CE approval study of the C-Scan system Version 3, an...
Brain Iron Levels May Predict Multiple Sclerosis Disabilities
News | Neuro Imaging | August 31, 2018
A new, highly accurate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique can monitor iron levels in the brains of multiple...