We used T2 relaxation, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess whether bacterial infection can be differentiated from inflammation in a myositis-induced mouse model. We measured the T2 relaxation time constants, %CEST at 5 saturation frequencies, and area under the curve (AUC) from DCE-MRI after maltose injection from infected, inflamed, and normal muscle tissue models. We applied principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce dimensionality of entire CEST spectra and DCE signal evolutions, which were analyzed using standard classification methods. We extracted features from dimensional reduction as predictors for machine learning classifier algorithms. Normal, inflamed, and infected tissues were evaluated with H&E and gram-staining histological studies, and bacterial-burden studies. The T2 relaxation time constants and AUC of DCE-MRI after injection of maltose differentiated infected, inflamed, and normal tissues. %CEST amplitudes at -1.6 and -3.5 ppm differentiated infected tissues from other tissues, but these did not differentiate inflamed tissue from normal tissue. %CEST amplitudes at 3.5, 3.0, and 2.5 ppm, AUC of DCE-MRI for shorter time periods, and relative Ktrans and kep values from DCE-MRI could not differentiate tissues. PCA and machine learning of CEST-MRI and DCE-MRI did not improve tissue classifications relative to traditional analysis methods. Similarly, PCA and machine learning did not further improve tissue classifications relative to T2 MRI. Therefore, future MRI studies of infection models should focus on T2-weighted MRI and analysis of T2 relaxation times.
- T2-weighted MRI
- imaging infection
- machine learning
- principal components analysis