An 8-week Brain MRI Follow-up Analysis of Rat Eosinophilic Meningitis Caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis Infection

Authors

  • L. Y. Shyu,

    1. Department of Parasitology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • H. H. Tsai,

    1. School of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • D. P. Lin,

    1. School of Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • H. H. Chang,

    1. School of Nutrition, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Y. S. Tyan,

    1. School of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • J. C. Weng

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
    • Correspondence:

      J.-C. Weng. School of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, No. 110, Sec. 1, Jianguo N. Rd., Taichung 402, Taiwan. Tel.: +886 4 24730022 ext. 12342; Fax: +886 4 2324 8171; E-mail: sly@csmu.edu.tw

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Summary

Early differential diagnosis and timely follow-up are advantageous in the management of Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection. This study aimed to characterize angiostrongyliasis in the rat brain for an 8-week period using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images (T1WI), T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) and R2 mapping sequences. The data were analysed with Mathematica and Matlab software programs for weekly changes in each brain following the infection of 20, 50, 100 and 300 third-stage larvae (L3), respectively. The results showed that the average subarachnoid space detected by T2WI technique was peaked up to 10% increase of original size on day 35 after 100 or 300 larvae infection, while those infected with 20 or 50 larvae showed less than 4% increase during the entire course of observation. This increase was relevant to the mortality of the infected rats, because those with 100 or 300 larvae infections showed a sharp decrease in survival rate before day 40. After day 40, the average subarachnoid space was decreased, but the average ventricle size was persistently increased, with the highest increase observed in the group infected with 300 larvae on day 56. Furthermore, the R2 mapping mean and R2 mapping size were significantly different between the brains with severe infection (100 and 300 larvae groups together) and those with mild infection (20 and 50 larvae groups together) on day 49, but not on day 35. Our results showed that diagnosis for different quantity of larvae infection using MRI is possible and follow-up characterization is informative in revealing the effects of angiostrongyliasis on different brain areas. In conclusion, our results support the use of MRI as a non-invasive diagnostic technique for eosinophilic meningitis caused by A. cantonensis infection.

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