Optimization of sample preparation for MRI of formaldehyde-fixed brains

Abstract : Magnetic resonance imaging of post-mortem brains allows long acquisition times up to several days and can be used to obtain high-resolution images at high field (7 T) which can be readily correlated with histological examination of the tissue. However, death and formaldehyde fixation are known to modify severely the relaxivity and diffusion properties of brain tissue. In particular, formaldehyde is known to shorten T2, which drastically reduces SNR. In order to counteract this effect and recover better SNR, free fixative can be washed out by soaking the sample in isotonic saline solution. This has been demonstrated in small biopsy-sized tissue samples, but little data is available concerning whole brain specimens. This study was designed to describe the kinetics of the change of relaxivity and diffusion properties of whole brain specimen at 7 T, during fixation, and during soaking in saline solution, in order to determine optimal soaking times. In the ewe brain, the fixation was found to stabilize after approximately 8 weeks, and the optimal duration of saline soaking is found to be around 3 weeks. These durations can be expected to be longer for larger specimen, such as human brains, which require longer penetration times.
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Contributor : Yann Leprince <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 11:28:54 AM
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Yann Leprince, Benoît Schmitt, Élodie Chaillou, Christophe Destrieux, Laurent Barantin, et al.. Optimization of sample preparation for MRI of formaldehyde-fixed brains. 23rd Annual Meeting of ISMRM, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, May 2015, Toronto, Canada. ⟨cea-01119512⟩

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