Purpose: To establish multi-modal imaging for the assessment of kidney pH, perfusion, and clearance rate using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) in healthy mice. Kidney pH and perfusion values were measured on a pixel-by-pixel basis using the MRI acidoCEST and FAIR-EPI methods. Kidney filtration rate was measured by analyzing the renal clearance rate of IRdye 800 using MSOT. To test the effect of one imaging method on the other, a set of 3 animals were imaged with MSOT followed by MRI, and a second set of 3 animals were imaged with MRI followed by MSOT. In a subsequent study, the reproducibility of pH, perfusion, and renal clearance measurements were tested by imaging 4 animals twice, separated by 4 days. The contrast agents used for acidoCEST based pH measurements influenced the results of MSOT. Specifically, the exponential decay time from the kidney cortex, as measured by MSOT, was significantly altered when MRI was performed prior to MSOT. However, no significant difference in the cortex to pelvis area under the curve (AUC) was noted. When the order of experiments was reversed, no significant differences were noted in the pH or perfusion values. Reproducibility measurements demonstrated similar pH and cortex to pelvis AUC; however, perfusion values were significantly different with the cortex values being higher and the pelvic values being lower in the second imaging time. We demonstrate that using a combination of MRI and MSOT, physiological measurements of pH, blood flow, and clearance rates can be measured in the mouse kidney in the same imaging session.
- Renal clearance rate