Detection of electroporation-induced membrane permeabilization states in the brain using diffusion-weighted MRI

F. Mahmood, R.H. Hansen, B. Agerholm-Larsen, H. Gissel, P. Ibsen, J. Gehl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background. Tissue permeabilization by electroporation (EP) is a promising technique to treat certain cancers. Non-invasive methods for verification of induced permeabilization are important, especially in deep-seated cancers. In this study we evaluated diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) as a quantitative method for detecting EP-induced membrane permeabilization of brain tissue using a rat brain model. Material and methods. Fifty-four anesthetized Sprague-Dawley male rats were electroporated in the right hemisphere, using different voltage levels to induce no permeabilization (NP), transient membrane permeabilization (TMP), and permanent membrane permeabilization (PMP), respectively. DW-MRI was acquired 5 minutes, 2 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours after EP. Histology was performed for validation of the permeabilization states. Tissue content of water, Na +, K +, Ca 2+, and extracellular volume were determined. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the DW-MRI parameters, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and kurtosis, at different voltage levels. The two-sample Mann- Whitney test with Holm's Bonferroni correction was used to identify pairs of significantly different groups. The study was approved by the Danish Animal Experiments Inspectorate. Results and conclusion. Results showed significant difference in the ADC between TMP and PMP at 2 hours (p < 0.001) and 24 hours (p < 0.05) after EP. Kurtosis was significantly increased both at TMP (p < 0.05) and PMP (p < 0.001) 5 minutes after EP, compared to NP. Kurtosis was also significantly higher at 24 hours (p < 0.05) and 48 hours (p < 0.05) at PMP compared to NP. Physiological parameters indicated correlation with the permeabilization states, supporting the DW-MRI findings. We conclude that DW-MRI is capable of detecting EP-induced permeabilization of brain tissue and to some extent of differentiating NP, TMP and PMP using appropriate scan timing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)289-297
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Body Water/metabolism
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability/physiology
  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Electroporation/methods
  • Extracellular Fluid
  • Male
  • Normal Distribution
  • Potassium/metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium/metabolism
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of electroporation-induced membrane permeabilization states in the brain using diffusion-weighted MRI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this