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Non-invasive quantification of hepatic fat content in healthy dogs using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and dual gradient echo magnetic resonance imaging
Francesca Del Chicca1,2,*, Andrea Schwarz3, Dieter Meier4,5, Paula Grest6, Annette Liesegang7, Patrick Robert Kircher1
1Clinic of Diagnostic Imaging, 3Section of Anesthesiology, Equine Department, and Institutes of 6Veterinary Pathology, and 7Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland;
4Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
5Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Correspondence to: Tel: +41436358685; E-mail: fdelchicca@vetclinics.uzh.ch
Received: October 25, 2017; Revised: February 19, 2018; Accepted: February 20, 2018; Published online: February 27, 2018.
Objective of the present study is to describe two non-invasive methods of fat quantification in the normal canine liver using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. Eleven adult beagle dogs were anesthetized and underwent magnetic resonance examination of the cranial abdomen including morphologic imaging, a modified Dixon (mDixon) dual gradient echo sequence and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS). In addition, ultrasonographic examination of the liver, fine needle aspirates and liver biopsies were performed, and hepatic triglyceride content was assayed. Ultrasonographic, cytologic and histologic examinations were unremarkable in all cases. The median hepatic fat fraction calculated were 2.1% (range, 1.3- 5.5%) using mDixon, 0.3% (range, 0.1-1.0%) using 1H MRS, and 1.6% (range 1.0-2.5%) based on triglyceride content. The hepatic fat fraction calculated using both mDIXON and 1H MRS was highly correlated to that measured based on triglyceride. Weak correlation was found between mDIXON and 1H MRS. Hepatic fat content can be estimated using either non-invasive technique in healthy dogs. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the use of these techniques in dogs with varying hepatic fat content and different hepatic disorders.
Keywords: Fat fraction, liver, non-invasive, magnetic resonance imaging, proton spectroscopy

© 2018 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.