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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Sep;66(3):746-55. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22860. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Perfusion imaging with a freely diffusible hyperpolarized contrast agent.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. akgrant@bidmc.harvard.edu


Contrast agents that can diffuse freely into or within tissue have numerous attractive features for perfusion imaging. Here we present preliminary data illustrating the suitability of hyperpolarized (13)C labeled 2-methylpropan-2-ol (also known as dimethylethanol, tertiary butyl alcohol and tert-butanol) as a freely diffusible contrast agent for magnetic resonance perfusion imaging. Dynamic (13)C images acquired in rat brain with a balanced steady-state free precession sequence following administration of hyperpolarized 2-methylpropan-2-ol show that this agent can be imaged with 2-4 s temporal resolution, 2 mm slice thickness, and 700 μm in-plane resolution while retaining adequate signal-to-noise ratio. (13)C relaxation measurements on 2-methylpropan-2-ol in blood at 9.4 T yield T(1) = 46 ± 4s and T(2) = 0.55 ± 0.03 s. In the rat brain at 4.7 T, analysis of the temporal dynamics of the balanced steady-state free precession image intensity in tissue and venous blood indicate that 2-methylpropan-2-ol has a T(2) of roughly 2-4s and a T(1) of 43 ± 24 s. In addition, the images indicate that 2-methylpropan-2-ol is freely diffusible in brain and hence has a long residence time in tissue; this in turn makes it possible to image the agent continuously for tens of seconds. These characteristics show that 2-methylpropan-2-ol is a promising agent for robust and quantitative perfusion imaging in the brain and body.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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