Studying the cardiovascular system of a marine crustacean with magnetic resonance imaging at 9.4 T

christian.bock [ at ]


An approach is presented for high-field MRI studies of the cardiovascular system (CVS) of a marine crustacean, the edible crab Cancer pagurus, submerged in highly conductive seawater. Structure and function of the CVS were investigated at 9.4 T. Cardiac motion was studied using self-gated CINE MRI. Imaging protocols and radio-frequency coil arrangements were tested for anatomical imaging. Haemolymph flow was quantified using phase-contrast angiography. Signal-to-noise-ratios and flow velocities in afferent and efferent branchial veins were compared with Student’s t test (n = 5). Seawater induced signal losses were dependent on imaging protocols and RF coil setup. Internal cardiac structures could be visualized with high spatial resolution within 8 min using a gradient-echo technique. Variations in haemolymph flow in different vessels could be determined over time. Maximum flow was similar within individual vessels and corresponded to literature values from Doppler measurements. Heart contractions were more pronounced in lateral and dorso-ventral directions than in the anterior–posterior direction. Choosing adequate imaging protocols in combination with a specific RF coil arrangement allows to monitor various parts of the crustacean CVS with exceptionally high spatial resolution despite the adverse effects of seawater at 9.4 T.

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DOI 10.1007/s10334-019-00752-4

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Maus, B. , Pörtner, H. O. and Bock, C. (2019): Studying the cardiovascular system of a marine crustacean with magnetic resonance imaging at 9.4 T , Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine . doi: 10.1007/s10334-019-00752-4

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