Evaluation of a Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging System for Whole Body Composition Analysis in Rodents


We evaluated the EchoMRI-900 combination rat and mouse quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) body composition method in comparison to traditional whole-body chemical carcass composition analysis (CCA) for measurements of fat and fat-free mass in rodents. Live and postmortem (PM) QMR fat and lean mass measurements were obtained for lean, obese and outbred strains of rats and mice, and compared with measurements obtained using CCA. A second group of rats was measured before and after 18 h food or water deprivation. Significant positive correlations between QMR and CCA fat and lean mass measurements were shown for rats and mice. Although all live QMR fat and lean measurements were more precise than CCA for rats, values obtained for mice significantly differed from CCA for lean mass only. QMR performed PM slightly overestimated fat and lean values relative to live QMR but did not show lower precision than live QMR. Food deprivation reduced values for both fat and lean mass; water deprivation reduced estimates of lean mass only. In summary, all measurements using this QMR system were comparable to those obtained by CCA, but with higher overall precision, similar to previous reports for the murine QMR system. However, PM QMR measurements slightly overestimated live QMR values, and lean and fat mass measurements in this QMR system are influenced by hydration status and animal size, respectively. Despite these caveats, we conclude that the EchoMRI QMR system offers a fast in vivo method of body composition analysis, well correlated to but with greater overall precision than CCA.

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Nixon JP, Zhang M, Wang C, Kuskowski MA, Novak CM, Levine JA, Billington CJ, Kotz CM