Tom Dresselaers1, Greetje Vande Velde1, Jennifer Poelmans1, Arno Nauerth2, Eric Verbeken1, Katrien Lagrou3, Uwe Himmelreich1
1Department of Imaging & Pathology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Vl.Brabant, Belgium; 2MR-Technologies, Bruker Biospin MRI GmbH, Ettlingen, Germany; 3Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Vl.Brabant, Belgium
Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii are encapsulated yeasts that cause life-threatening disease that affect the lungs and may spread to the brain. As symptoms appear only after the disease manifestation at a very late stage, it is essential to dynamically monitor cryptococcosis non-invasively to establish the infection kinetics and potential spreading to the CNS on an individual basis. Although CT can be used with good spatial resolution, the soft tissue contrast is limited and radiotoxicity concerns limit the applicability in longitudinal studies. Therefore, we have aimed at evaluating different MRI protocols to visualize lung infection in a mouse model for pneumonial cryptococcosis.