Susceptibility weighted MRI pinpoints spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Magnetic resonance imaging


PURPOSE: To find magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) precursors of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP).

METHOD: SHRSP rats were used with both a low/high salt (n = 18 or 11) Japanese diet and salty drinking water to generate spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Various MRI sequences, and in particular, susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), were used and combined with a gadolinium (Gd) contrast agent or oxygen gas to identify the rupture of the blood brain barrier (BBB) and the temporal ICH.

RESULTS: Most rats developed hypertensive ICH stroke in the high salt group during the 10-13 week period compared to only one third of rats in the low salt group during the 14-18 week period. The location of stroke for both the low/high-salt groups was highest in the striatum (58%/43%), followed by the cortex (21%/30%). The edematous enhancement on T2 weighted (T2W) imaging or Gd based T1 weighted (Gd-T1W) imaging due to the ruptured BBB preceded the striatal hemorrhages seen on SWI. The most recent bleeds were observed on temporal SWI or on oxygen-enhanced SWI. The mode of the volume of bleeds was 0.4 mm

CONCLUSIONS: SHRSP rats with the high salt diet effectively generated a hypertensive hemorrhagic stroke which could be monitored by various MRI sequences. The venous dilation on SWI may precede any abnormality on T2W or Gd-T1W imaging. The edematous enhancement on T2W or Gd-T1W indicated a BBB breakdown that may precede striatal ICH by several days. This suggests the need for immediate treatment to improve outcome if this finding is observed. The use of oxygen with SWI was able to help differentiate old bleeds from very recent bleeds.



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