Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lung as a tool for the non-invasive evaluation of drugs in rat models of airways diseases

Nicolau Beckmann1, Harry Karmouty Quintana1,2, François-Xavier Blé1,3, Catherine Cannet1, Stefan Zurbruegg1, Bruno Tigani1 and John Fozard1
1Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Discovery Technologies and Respiratory Diseases Department, Basel, Switzerland; 2King’s College London, Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, UK; 3Université Louis Pasteur-Strasbourg-1, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch Cedex, France
Methods currently used to evaluate the efficacy of potential treatments for diseases of the airways in small animal models are generally invasive and terminal. We explored the flexibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain anatomical and functional information on the lung, with the scope of developing a non-invasive approach for the routine testing of drugs in rat models of airways diseases. With MRI, the disease progression can be followed in the same animal. Thus, a significant reduction in the number of animals used for experimentation may be achieved, as well as minimal interference with their well-being and physiological status. Also, MRI has the potential to shorten the overall duration of the observation period after disease onset, since the technique is able to detect changes induced by allergen before these are reflected in secreted parameters of inflammation.

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