NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester modifies the input function measured by dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging.
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In rat brain dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance (MR) images, vessels visible on the same scan plane as the brain tissue were used to measure the characteristics of the input function of the MR contrast agent gadopentetate dimeglumine. MR images were acquired 30 and 60 minutes after intravenous injections of 3 mg/kg and 15 mg/kg NG-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (n = 9). The time of arrival (TOA) and the mean transit time corrected for TOA of the input function were increased by 3 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg L-NAME. The area of the input function was increased by 15 mg/kg L-NAME. In two animals, similar modifications of the input function induced by 20 mg/kg L-NAME were reversed by infusion of sodium nitroprusside. In two other animals, MABP was increased by phenylephrine to a similar extent as in L-NAME experiments, but did not induce the same modifications of the input function, showing that the action of L-NAME on the input function was not simply caused by an effect on MABP. These results show that the input function can be significantly altered by manipulations widely used in cerebrovascular studies. These input function changes have important implications for calculation of cerebral blood flow.