Longitudinal Changes in Placental Magnetic Resonance Imaging Relaxation Parameter in Murine Pregnancy: Compartmental Analysis
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OBJECTIVE: To quantify gestation-dependent longitudinal changes in the magnetic resonance transverse relaxation time (T2) parameter of the major constituent regions of the mouse placenta and to evaluate their relative contributions to changes in overall placental T2. METHODS: Timed-pregnant CD-1 mice underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0 T field strength, on gestational day 13 (GD13), GD15 and GD17. T2 of the placenta and its constituent high and low blood perfusion regions were quantified. A linear mixed-effects model was used to fit the T2 across gestation, and the significance of coefficients was tested. RESULTS: A decrease in the T2 values of the placenta and its constituent regions was observed across gestation. The temporal change in T2 was estimated to be -1.85 ms/GD (p < 0.0001) for the placenta, -1.00 ms/GD (p < 0.001) for the high-perfusion zones (HPZs) and -1.66 ms/GD (p < 0.0001) for the low-perfusion zones (LPZs). CONCLUSION: T2 of the constituent zones of the murine placenta decreases with advancing gestation. While the T2 of the LPZ is smaller than that of the HPZ, there is no difference in their decrease rate relative to that of the whole placenta (p = 0.24). The results suggest an increased role of constituent volume fractions in affecting overall gestation-dependent placental T2 decrease in mice.
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