Placental baseline conditions modulate the hyperoxic BOLD-MRI response

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Objectives: Human pregnancies complicated by placental dysfunction may be characterized by a high hyperoxic Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) MRI response. The pathophysiology behind this phenomenon remains to be established. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether it is associated with altered placental baseline conditions, including a lower oxygenation and altered tissue morphology, as estimated by the placental transverse relaxation time (T2*).

Method: We included 49 normal pregnancies (controls) and 13 pregnancies complicated by placental dysfunction (cases), defined by a birth weight <10th percentile in combination with placental pathological signs of vascular malperfusion. During maternal oxygen inhalation, we measured the relative Delta BOLD response ((hyperoxic BOLD - baseline BOLD)/baseline BOLD) from a dynamic single-echo gradient-recalled echo (GRE) MRI sequence and the absolute Delta T2* (hyperoxic T2* - baseline T2*) from breath-hold multi-echo GRE sequences.

Results: In the control group, the relative Delta BOLD response increased during gestation from 5% in gestational week 20 to 20% in week 40. In the case group, the relative Delta BOLD response was significantly higher (mean Z-score 4.94; 95% CI 2.41, 7.47). The absolute Delta T2*, however, did not differ between controls and cases (p = 0.37), whereas the baseline T2* was lower among cases (mean Z-score - 3.13;95% CI -3.94, - 2.32). Furthermore, we demonstrated a strong negative linear correlation between the Log(10) DBOLD response and the baseline T2* (r = -0.88, p <0.0001).

Conclusion: The high hyperoxic DBOLD response demonstrated in pregnancies complicated by placental dysfunction may simply reflect altered baseline conditions, as the absolute increase in placental oxygenation (Delta T2*) does not differ between groups. (c) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • BOLD MRI, Magnetic resonance imaging, Placental dysfunction, Placental oxygenation, T2* relaxation, 1.5 T, FETAL ARTERIAL, OXYGENATION, PULSATILITY INDEX, T2*relaxation, PHYSIOLOGICAL-BASIS, MAGNETIC-RESONANCE, RELAXATION-TIME MEASUREMENTS, GROWTH RESTRICTION, BLOOD, PRIMATE PLACENTA, Pregnancy Trimester, Second, Up-Regulation, Humans, Hyperoxia/diagnostic imaging, Pregnancy Trimester, Third, Case-Control Studies, Placenta/blood supply, Placental Circulation, Adult, Female, Severity of Illness Index, Reproducibility of Results, Vascular Resistance, Placentation, Prenatal Diagnosis, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Fetal Growth Retardation/etiology, Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular/diagnostic imaging, Peripheral Vascular Diseases/diagnostic imaging, Pregnancy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Placenta Diseases/diagnostic imaging

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