Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Diagnostic Tool in the Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy in Mice

Open Access
Hobelmann, Kealan Christian
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Thomas Neuberger, Thesis Supervisor
  • Peter J Butler, Honors Advisor
  • MRI
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • diabetes
  • radiofrequency coil
  • magnetic resonance imaging
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a diabetes-induced condition which can lead to significant vision loss or complete blindness. As retinal tissues begin to suffer from ischemia, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is produced to begin the formation of new vessels. In many cases, the new vessels are prone to hemorrhaging leading to conditions such as neovascular glaucoma, vitreous hemorrhaging, detached retina, and macular edema. It is proposed that magnetic resonance imaging can be used to measure retinal perfusion in order to detect the vascular changes which precede the onset of DR. For improved contrast, arterial spin labeling may be used in a gradient echo sequence to observe retinal perfusion while disregarding the signal from eye tissues. Using VEGF to induce neovascularization in mice, it is possible to observe the changes which take place in the retina during the course of DR to later be applied to human diagnostic techniques. This investigation focuses on the construction of the required radiofrequency coil as well as the experimental design.