Purpose: Ex vivo brains have different MRI properties than in vivo brains because of chemical changes caused by fixative solutions, which change the signal intensity and/or tissue contrast on MR images. In this study, we investigated and compared the MRI properties of in vivo and ex vivo brains. Methods: Using a Bruker 9.4T experimental scanner unit for animals (Biospin GmbH, Ettlingen, Germany), we performed this study on the common marmoset. We measured the relaxation and diffusion values in the white matter and cortex of common marmosets and compared these values between in vivo brains (n = 20) and ex vivo brains (n = 20). Additionally, we observed the relationship between the tissue fixation duration and MRI properties by imaging a brain that underwent long-term fixation in a preliminary examination (n = 1). Results: The T1 values of ex vivo brains were decreased compared with those of in vivo brains; however, there were no significant difference in the T2 and T2 * values of in vivo and ex vivo brains. Axial, radial, and mean diffusivity values of ex vivo brains decreased to approximately 65% and 52% of those of in vivo brains in the cortex and white matter, respectively. Conversely, fractional anisotropy values were not significantly different between in vivo and ex vivo brains. Conclusion: The T1 values and diffusion coefficient values of the ex vivo brains were strikingly different than those of the in vivo brains. Conversely, there were no significant changes in the T2, T2 * or fractional anisotropy values. Altogether, the dehydration caused by tissue fixation and the reduction in brain temperature were involved in changing the relaxation and diffusion coefficient values. Here, it was difficult to specify all factors causing these changes. Further detailed study is needed to examine changes in MRI properties.
- Common marmoset
- Diffusion properties
- Postmortem magnetic resonance imaging
- Relaxation time
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging