Brain Imaging

The brain can be imaged in a variety of different ways, the choice of imaging modality depending on the research question being answered. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a very versatile modality that can provide structural and functional data with new developments allowing increasingly complex analyses. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides a measure of brain chemistry. Computed Tomography provides more basic structural data, but a strength of CT is the ability to obtain contrast based regional blood flow and blood volume data. Positron Emission Tomography can provide exquisite quantitative data on the distribution of radiolabled compounds. These can be standard labeled compounds such as glucose or dopamine or custom labeling of test compounds can be developed. These images are routinely co-registered to CT images for precise anatomical location of the regions of uptake of the radiopharmaceutical.

Brain imaging data is well correlated with cognitive function in several species. We can provide cognitive testing services to support imaging data in several species

  • Dynamic contrast perfusion to assess blood brain barrier permeability and regional cerebral blood flow using either MRI or CT
  • PET/CT imaging with additional coregistration to MRI images if required to quantify glucose uptake
  • Imaging of brain tissues using standard PET radiopharmaceuticals eg F-18 DOPA
  • Imaging of brain tissues with custom developed radiopharmaceuticals linked to specific naturally occurring brain chemicals or novel compounds

A number of different dynamic contrast studies using both MRI and CT can be used to investigate cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume and blood brain barrier permeability. The specific technique is determined based on the research question to be answered.

Dynamic perfusion CT (A)
Dynamic perfusion CT (B)

Dynamic perfusion CT images of a dog brain with cerebral blood flow (CBF) maps demonstrating an increase in CBF when end tidal CO2 is increased from 35mmHg (A) to 68mm Hg(B).