MRI-based texture analysis: A potential technique to assess protectors against induced-liver fibrosis in rats

Doaa Mahmoud-Ghoneim, Amr Amin, Peter Corr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background. In this study, the protective effect of extract of Moringa oleifera against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver fibrosis in rats was evaluated using Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Texture Analysis (MRI-TA) and the results were compared to liver function tests and histopathology. Methods. Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: a) the normal control group (C) received an intra-gastric administration of vehicle for eight weeks; b) the fibrosis group (F) received an intra-peritoneal administration of CCl4 twice a week for eight weeks; c) the silymarin group (S) received 0.2 g/kg orally once a day for eight weeks along with CCl4; d) the M. oleifera protected group (M), received an intra-gastric dose at 0.5 g/kg for 8 weeks concomitantly with CCl4. Histopathology and liver function were performed and both confirmed protection against CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. Results. The fibrosis index showed a remarkable increase in collagen-I contents in the CCl4 - injured animals (12.73±2.37%) while fibrotic indices were significantly less in liver tissues of Moringa-treated and silymarin-treated animals (5.23±0.13% and 1.23±1.01%, respectively). MRI-TA results were consistent with previous histopathological findings. Classification of MRI-TA parameters for the C, F, and M groups showed that the F group was separated from both M and C groups on the MDF-1 axis (Most Discriminating Parameters-1) whereby this group always had negative values. The C and M groups clustered closely on the same axis with positive values. Very similar results were obtained from classification of the C, F and S groups. The texture parameters used in this study measure the coarseness of the imaged tissue, which is influenced by the collagen contents and distribution, that are known to be increased in fibrosis and inhibited by antifibrotic drugs thus affecting image classification. Conclusions. Based on our findings, MRI-TA can be established as a potential tool for assessing the protective or therapeutic effects of tested antifibrotic drug/s. M. oleifera exhibits a partial hepatoprotective effect on rats treated with CCl4 which was proven by histopathology and liver function tests and indicated by MRI-TA performed on liver samples. We recommend MRI-TA as a potential tool for a simpler, easier, and faster way of indicating the therapeutic effect of antifibrotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalRadiology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Liver fibrosis
  • MRI
  • Moringa oleifera
  • Texture analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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