MRI of tarantulas: morphological and perfusion imaging.

Research paper by Andreas A Pohlmann, Marco M Möller, Heinz H Decker, Wolfgang Günther WG Schreiber

Indexed on: 16 Jan '07Published on: 16 Jan '07Published in: Magnetic Resonance Imaging


This paper describes a study performed to evaluate the feasibility of using a 1.5-T whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment, in combination with pharmacokinetic modeling, to obtain in vivo information about the morphology and perfusion of tarantulas (Eurypelma californicum). MRI was performed on three tarantulas using spin-echo sequences for morphological imaging and a rapid spoiled gradient-echo sequence for dynamic imaging during and after contrast medium (CM; Gd-DTPA) injection. Signal enhancement in dynamic measurements was evaluated with a pharmacokinetic two-compartment model. Spin-echo images showed morphological structures well. Dynamic images were of sufficient quality and allowed a model analysis of CM kinetics, which provides information about regional perfusion. In conclusion, morphological and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI of tarantulas is feasible with a conventional clinical scanner. Studies of this kind are therefore possible without a dedicated high-field animal scanner.