MR Imaging-derived Oxygen- Hemoglobin dissociation curves and Fetal-Placental Oxygen- Hemoglobin affinities

Reut Avni, Ofra Golani, Ayelet Akselrod-Ballin, Yonni Cohen, Inbal Biton, Joel R. Garbow, Michal Neeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To generate magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-derived, oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curves and to map fetalplacental oxygen-hemoglobin affinity in pregnant mice noninvasively by combining blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) T2∗ and oxygen-weighted T1 contrast mechanisms under different respiration challenges. Materials and Methods: All procedures were approved by the Weizmann Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Pregnant mice were analyzed with MR imaging at 9.4 T on embryonic days 14.5 (eight dams and 58 fetuses; imprinting control region ICR strain) and 17.5 (21 dams and 158 fetuses) under respiration challenges ranging from hyperoxia to hypoxia (10 levels of oxygenation, 100%-10%; total imaging time, 100 minutes). A shorter protocol with normoxia to hyperoxia was also performed (five levels of oxygenation, 20%-100%; total imaging time, 60 minutes). Fast spin-echo anatomic images were obtained, followed by sequential acquisition of threedimensional gradient-echo T2∗- And T1-weighted images. Automated registration was applied to align regions of interest of the entire placenta, fetal liver, and maternal liver. Results were compared by using a two-tailed unpaired Student t test. R1 and R2∗ values were derived for each tissue. MR imaging-based oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curves were constructed by nonlinear least square fitting of 1 minus the change in R2∗divided by R2∗at baseline as a function of R1 to a sigmoid-shaped curve. The apparent P50 (oxygen tension at which hemoglobin is 50% saturated) value was derived from the curves, calculated as the R1 scaled value (x) at which the change in R2∗ divided by R2∗at baseline scaled (y) equals 0.5. Results: The apparent P50 values were significantly lower in fetal liver than in maternal liver for both gestation stages (day 14.5: 21% ± 5 [P = .04] and day 17.5: 41% ± 7 [P , .0001]). The placenta showed a reduction of 18% ± 4 in mean apparent P50 values from day 14.5 to day 17.5 (P = .003). Reproduction of the MR imaging-based oxygenhemoglobin dissociation curves with a shorter protocol that excluded the hypoxic periods was demonstrated. Conclusion: MR imaging-based oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curves and oxygen-hemoglobin affinity information were derived for pregnant mice by using 9.4-T MR imaging, which suggests a potential to overcome the need for direct sampling of fetal or maternal blood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2016


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