Chirag B. Patel1, David M. Cohen1, Pallavi Ahobila-Vajjula1, Laura M. Sundberg1, Tessy Chacko1, Ponnada A. Narayana1
1Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
Compromised blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) is a factor in the outcome following spinal cord injury (SCI). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promotes angiogenesis and vascular permeability. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) studies were performed to track spatiotemporal changes in BSCB permeability following acute administration of VEGF in SCI. BSCB permeability was greater at all time points in VEGF-treated animals compared to controls. VEGF hastened neurobehavioral recovery by day 28 post-SCI but this improvement did not persist by day 56 post-SCI. Changes in the BSCB permeability do not appear to be the primary driving factors for VEGF's observed treatment effects in SCI.