Korean J Radiol.  2020 Apr;21(5):588-597. 10.3348/kjr.2019.0646.

Role of Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer andMagnetization Transfer MRI in Detecting Metabolicand Structural Changes of Renal Fibrosis in an AnimalModel at 3T

  • 1Department of Radiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • 2Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA


To investigate the value of combined chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and conventional magnetization transfer imaging (MT) in detecting metabolic and structural changes of renal fibrosis in rats with unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) at 3T MRI.
Materials and Methods
Thirty-five Sprague-Dawley rats underwent UUO surgery (n = 25) or sham surgery (n = 10). The obstructed and contralateral kidneys were evaluated on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 after surgery. After CEST and MT examinations, 18F-labeled fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography was performed to quantify glucose metabolism. Fibrosis was measured by histology and western blots. Correlations were compared between asymmetrical magnetization transfer ratio at 1.2 ppm (MTRasym(1.2ppm)) derived from CEST and maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) and between magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) derived from MT and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA).
On days 3 and 7, MTRasym(1.2ppm) and MTR of UUO renal cortex and medulla were significantly different from those of contralateral kidneys (p < 0.05). On day 7, MTRasym(1.2ppm) and MTR of UUO renal cortex and medulla were significantly different from those of sham-operated kidneys (p < 0.05). The MTRasym(1.2ppm) of UUO renal medulla was fairly negatively correlated with SUVmax (r = -0.350, p = 0.021), whereas MTR of UUO renal medulla was strongly negatively correlated with α-SMA (r = -0.744, p < 0.001).
CEST and MT could provide metabolic and structural information for comprehensive assessment of renal fibrosis in UUO rats in 3T MRI and may aid in clinical monitoring of renal fibrosis in patients with chronic kidney disease.


Chemical exchange saturation transfer; Magnetization transfer imaging; Renal fibrosis; Unilateral ureteral obstruction
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