OBJECTIVE To describe the perfusion and diffusion characteristics of the liver in healthy dogs as determined by morphological, perfusion-weighted, and diffusion-weighted MRI.
ANIMALS 11 healthy adult Beagles.
PROCEDURES Each dog was anesthetized and underwent morphological, perfusion-weighted, and diffusion-weighted MRI of the cranial aspect of the abdomen. On the MRI images, a region of interest (ROI) was established for each of 6 structures (aorta, caudal vena cava, portal vein, hepatic parenchyma, splenic parenchyma, and skeletal [epaxial] muscle). The signal intensity was determined, and a time-intensity curve was generated for each ROI. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was calculated for the hepatic and splenic parenchyma in diffusion-weighted MRI images, and the normalized ADC for the liver was calculated as the ratio of the ADC for the hepatic parenchyma to the ADC for the splenic parenchyma. Dogs also underwent abdominal ultrasonography, and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirate samples and biopsy specimens were obtained from the liver for cytologic and histologic examination.
RESULTS Cytologic and histologic results suggested that the liver was clinically normal in all dogs. Perfusion-weighted MRI parameters varied among the 6 ROIs. The mean ± SD ADC of the hepatic parenchyma was 0.84 × 10−3 mm2/s ± 0.17 × 10−3 mm2/s, and the mean normalized ADC for the liver was 1.8 ± 0.4.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results provided preliminary baseline information about the diffusion and perfusion characteristics of the liver in healthy dogs. Additional studies on dogs of various breeds with and without hepatopathies are necessary to validate and refine these findings.