Ferumoxytol dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging identifies altered placental cotyledon perfusion in rhesus macaques†

Daniel P. Seiter, Sydney M. Nguyen, Terry K. Morgan, Lu Mao, Dawn M. Dudley, David H. O'connor, Megan E. Murphy, Kai D. Ludwig, Ruiming Chen, Archana Dhyani, Ante Zhu, Michele L. Schotzko, Kevin G. Brunner, Dinesh M. Shah, Kevin M. Johnson, Thaddeus G. Golos, Oliver Wieben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identification of placental dysfunction in early pregnancy with noninvasive imaging could be a valuable tool for assessing maternal and fetal risk. Dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be a powerful tool for interrogating placenta health. After inoculation with Zika virus or sham inoculation at gestation age (GA) 45 or 55 days, animals were imaged up to three times at GA65, GA100, and GA145. DCE MRI images were acquired at all imaging sessions using ferumoxytol, an iron nanoparticle-based contrast agent, and analyzed for placental intervillous blood flow, number of perfusion domains, and perfusion domain volume. Cesarean section was performed at GA155, and the placenta was photographed and dissected for histopathology. Photographs were used to align cotyledons with estimated perfusion domains from MRI, allowing comparison of estimated cotyledon volume to pathology. Monkeys were separated into high and low pathology groups based on the average number of pathologies present in the placenta. Perfusion domain flow, volume, and number increased through gestation, and total blood flow increased with gestation for both low pathology and high pathology groups. A statistically significant decrease in perfusion domain volume associated with pathology was detected at all gestational ages. Individual perfusion domain flow comparisons demonstrated a statistically significant decrease with pathology at GA100 and GA145, but not GA65. Since ferumoxytol is currently used to treat anemia during human pregnancy and as an off-label MRI contrast agent, future transition of this work to human pregnancy may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1527
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 10 2022


  • blood flow
  • contrast enhanced
  • cotyledon
  • ferumoxytol
  • gestation
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • MRI
  • pathology
  • perfusion
  • perfusion domain
  • placenta
  • rhesus macaque
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Ferumoxytol dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging identifies altered placental cotyledon perfusion in rhesus macaques†'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this