Liver oxygenation in chronic ethanol-treated rats: Analysis by functional magnetic resonance imaging

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Yau, Melissa
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to examine oxygenation changes in pair-fed and chronic ethanol-treated rat livers during hypoxic, hyperoxic, hypercapnic or carbogen inhalation challenge, or after acute ethanol administration. The change in signal intensity in Magnetic Resonance images was positively correlated (r2 = 0.92, p < 0.05) with oxygen saturation measurements in both pair-fed and chronic ethanol-treated rats. The hepatic artery and the portal vein extraction coefficients and the lactate-to-pyruvate ratios were all in agreement with functional MRI results during each challenge. The magnitudes of signal intensity change in T 2 and T2*-weighted Magnetic Resonance images were smaller in chronic ethanol-treated rats in comparison to their pair-fed controls for all the inhalation challenges, consistent with chronic ethanol-induced hepatic microvascular dysfunction. In conclusion, functional MRI was shown to be a sensitive, reliable indicator of hepatic oxygenation changes, and showed subtle, early effects of chronic ethanol consumption on the liver.

functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI, oxygenation changes, chronic ethanol consumption, rat livers, liver oxygenation